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Buttered Purple Sprouting Broccoli

This is a great way to ensure that broccoli is perfect every time. It can be cooked and refreshed a few hours in advance, which guarantees no more over-cooked lifeless specimens.

Purple sprouting broccoli is in season in late winter and early spring, and a much more interesting vegetable than the ubiquitous calabrese.

675g/11/2lb purple sprouting or long stemmed broccoli, trimmed
40g/11/2 oz butter salt and freshly ground black pepper

SERVES 4-6

Bring 1.75 litres/3 pints of water to the boil in a large pan with 1 tablespoon of salt. Cook the purple sprouting broccoli for 3-4 minutes, according to size.

Taste, if ready, drain and plunge them into a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to prevent further cooking. Drain again and reserve.

Heat the butter in the pan with 2 tablespoons of water until emulsified. Add the drained purple sprouting broccoli and season to taste. Sauté gently for 1 minute until just heated through. Serve at once.

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