A celebration of seasonality from Rosie Birkett
The colours of the ingredients at this time of year are nothing short of luxurious. From the vivid sherbet pink of forced rhubarb, to the deep ruby of blood orange and regal purple florets of sprouting broccoli, we are spoiled for choice at the moment. I’ve used two of this alluring wintry trilogy for the dish below, which is one of my favourite salads, combining bittersweet brassicas with the sharpness of citrus, an explosion of creamy burrata and the salty thwack of very good anchovies. The broccoli stems are roasted along with finely sliced orange and mixed seeds to create a lazy warm salad that is layered in terms of texture and flavour. Here I like to tangle crispy roasted broccoli with its tender blanched leaves for a lovely contrast in texture. This makes a fantastic sharing starter or light lunch for two.
400g purple sprouting broccoli
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp white sesame seeds
1 blood orange
1 red chilli, finely sliced
½ tsp urfa chilli flakes
½ clove of garlic, grated
1 large ball of burrata
8 very good oil-packed anchovy fillets (I particularly like the Ortiz brand)
A pinch of pink peppercorns, crushed with a pestle and mortar
A few leaves of tarragon
Heat the oven to 220C. Bring a large pan of salted water to a vigorous rolling boil and fill a large bowl with iced water. Trim the broccoli stems and cut any really thick ones in half so they are roughly all the same thickness.
Boil the broccoli in the salted water for 1 min, then remove with tongs to the iced water. Drain, then dry the broccoli with a clean tea towel or kitchen paper.
Halve the blood orange. Cut one half into very fine slices. Zest and juice the other half.
Tear any wispy leaves from the broccoli stems and set aside. In a roasting tray, toss the seeds, orange slices, sliced chilli and 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, together with the broccoli stalks. Season with a good pinch of the chilli flakes and roast for 10-12 mins, until the orange is caramelised, the florets crisp and the stalks tender.
While that’s happening, whisk the orange juice and zest with the grated garlic and a pinch of salt.
Once roasted, toss the leaves in with the broccoli, season with sea salt and tumble it all onto a plate or platter.
Top with the burrata and strew over the anchovies, crushed pink peppercorns and tarragon leaves. Drizzle the dressing over the top along with a slick more extra virgin olive oil, and devour.
Recipe: Rosie Birkett