Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

The large vegetable patch has recently revealed a few claret-coloured gems amongst a mass of green foliage. The purple sprouting broccoli, having been planted very late last summer, is ready for harvest.

Purple sprouting broccoli can be harvested from mid-winter onwards, but we’ve waited a little longer before picking out the main head from the stem. A clean cut with a sharp knife will help to encourage side shoots, and lengthen harvest periods to around eight weeks.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

As they grow, broccoli plants like a good supply of water. This winter, we’ve had no problem at all with keeping the ground adequately moist…

The florets are ready for harvest when the flower shoots are well developed, but before the flowers actually open. Once picked, the florets can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. But we like to use ours fresh – steamed is best for retaining nutrients such as iron, vitamin C and E, and fibre, and the rich purple colour makes for a fantastic addition to stir fries.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

The large tasty spears can also be served steamed with a large knob of butter. For me, the vegan alternative is a large knob of Pure sunflower spread. Another great serving option is balsamic vinegar, or a high quality virgin olive oil. We are also planning to harvest the side shoots, and will bake a sweet potato and broccoli pie.

How do you eat yours?


  1. Lucky you, they’re fantastic, really healthy and a good size too. I’ve never had much success with them, but it’s a shame because I love them.

  2. Peter Jones says:

    Those look really great. Did you have to cover with netting to protect from birds?

    • Initially we covered them with fleece tunnel, and then when they’d outgrown them, we removed them and just surrounded them with the remnants of an old rabbit run. Eventually they outgrew that as well, but we left the lid off and the wood pigeons weren’t interested (and we have a LOT of woodpigeons in the garden).

  3. Those purple sprouting broccoli look so purple. To get your mind off work try taking time out to sit with your hens and watch them. Hen are fascinating especially on a sunny day when scratching around for food.

  4. A very healthy vegetable which contains cruciferous. Quite a few scientific studies have shown that diets high in cruciferous vegetables appear to be linked with a lower risk of developing certain cancers.

  5. Lovely! I’ve never seen purple broccoli before.. :D

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