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 Purple+CauliflowerThere are some funky colours in play at the start of February: purple sprouting broccoli adds a touch of the divine to any plate; while glorious pink rhubarb banishes all thoughts of boredom from the pudding bowl. This is the month when we’ve all really had enough of winter, and look to food to cheer us up. So this week’s recipes are all about bringing the zing factor back – with taste and with appearance…


Asian style noodles with purple sprouting broccoli

The great thing about this dish – you can make it as spicy or as benign as you want. For real Asian flavour try to use the fresh versions of the herbs. Most importantly of all, steam the vegetables for just long enough to make them warm. You want them as crunchy as possible in the finished dish.


1 purple sprouting broccoli head, cut into florets

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks

Half a big bag of spring greens

1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 fresh chili, finely chopped (deseed if you don’t want it too hot)

Chunk of fresh ginger

The juice of 1 lime

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 ½ tsps turmeric

1 ½ tsps cumin

Pinch of fresh coriander

Noodles, either fresh sealed or dry

2 eggs

Dry roasted peanuts, crushed


Prepare and steam the vegetables. Sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil. Add the vegetables to the pan, heat through, then grate in the ginger and add the spices; and the lime juice. Turn off the heat. Prepare your noodles according to instructions. Fire up the pan again and toss the noodles in until everything is nicely mixed.

Crack the two eggs into the pan and break up, then stir through the dish on the heat, until the eggs have coated the noodles and cooked.

Serve immediately garnished with fresh coriander and a handful of crushed peanuts.


Rhubarb crumble

You can’t get heartier and happier than a rhubarb crumble. It’s a simple seasonal twist on the favourite British winter dish, and it still works wonders. You’ll need –


10 rhubarb sticks

Water for pre-cooking (roughly 4 tbsp)

1 tsp powdered ginger

8 tbsp caster sugar

4oz/110g butter

The same quantity of Demerara sugar

200g(ish)/7oz(ish) plain flour.


Preheat the oven to a medium heat, around gas 4 or 180 degrees is about right. Cut the rhubarb into medium lengths – around three inches. Put them on a baking tray or in a roasting dish, sprinkled with the water and caster sugar and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and coat the rhubarb in the powdered ginger.

Take an ovenproof dish and make a pile of rhubarb in the bottom, nice and deep (just shy of two inches is good).

Soften the butter and rub into the Demerara sugar and flour to make a crumble, leaving some nice big lumps to crunch off in the oven. Cover your rhubarb pile and return to the oven, baking for between 35 and 45 minutes or until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling away nicely.

Cool slightly, then serve with cream or custard.