Monday, August 8, 2011

Broccoli Success

Finally, I've managed to grow a brassica.

For two years I've done a bit of a half-hearted effort but they were always gobbled by caterpillars laid by those dreadful white cabbage moths. This year I had lots of replacement seedlings on standby and I waited 'til it was a bit colder and there were fewer moths fluttering about. I still had a couple of leaves destroyed by the caterpillars and my kale was gobbled by a rogue neighbourhood goat but this patch is looking good.

I can't wait 'til this lot grows up a bit and I can cook it. I've been mad keen on broccoli this winter and have been eating loads of it. I've only just discovered that broccoli stems are delicious too. Am I the only fool who has been throwing away broccoli stems? You can just slice off the tough outer bits, chop the stems and cook them up. They're terrific. Another thing I discovered after reading one of my Diggers' magazines is that bought broccoli (unless its organic) is drenched in pesticides so you need to wash it very well. Of course it is - those pesky moths. Anyway, that's two new things I've learnt this season.

So, in anticipation and celebration of pesticide free, home grown broccoli, I'm sharing with you my current favourite lunch. Today I made it with lemon from the tree (our trees are dripping with lemons at the moment) and a bit of chilli and parsley also from the garden (yep, despite the weather I am still producing chillis). I also had two red capsicums in the fridge which I decided needed eating. I know they're not in season but I do love roasted red capsicum so you could include these too or some other vegetable you have hanging around if you want. I also sometimes chuck in a handful of toasted, flaked almonds. But I forgot them today.

Warm Broccoli Pasta
• 1 head of broccoli chopped, stem included
• 100g pasta
• 2 tsp olive oil
• chilli finely chopped (as much as you like)
• squeeze of lemon
• handful of parsley, finely chopped
• 1 red capsicum, roasted and sliced (optional)
• salt

Steam the broccoli and cook the pasta. Mix together the chopped chilli, parsley, lemon, olive oil and salt. Allow cooked broccoli and pasta to cool and mix with the dressing and roast capsicum.


  1. yummy!

  2. well done on brassica! once you get them going you'll have them just about year round here in Sydney! it's a hard habit to break!

  3. Well done! Broccoli and broccolini are wonderful i the garden. After you cut the heard off leave the plants in the garden, and in a couple of weeks you will collect all the broccolini that will grow on the sides, again and again!

    I have posted about taro, cassava and other tropical veggies, if you like to have a look :-).


  4. Hooray ! Those broccoli look really just divine. And it's too frosty for those awful caterpillars! Double yay! I love how it just reshoots and keeps going. Mine have done well even though they got eaten to shreds at first by the caterpillars. Did you see the dirty dozen? I posted about it, some of the vegies on there surprised me. Shudder to think of what we ingest from store bought produce...ugh!

  5. Those Broccoli plants are looking GOOD! Unfortunately mine are on their last legs now, but I think they are one of the most worthwhile crows I grow. I often eat broccoli in the way you describe in your recipe (though I don't eat capsicums). The little sideshoots are very nice when stir-fried in oriental style.

  6. Well done! I don't know what happened to that dreaded white cabbage moth but thankfully, we haven't had any at all either this season.

    re spraying - I rememember reading something years ago that has really stayed with me..... that if you are going to eat/grow anything organic, it should be broccoli, tomatoes and strawberries as they are the crops that get sprayed the most.

  7. Oh yeah, brassica success! Well done VG, and may you never have to wash your broccoli again. Apart from washing off those cabbage moth caterpillars. And slugs and stuff. Oh well. Keep on washing!

  8. They do look particularly good! I just adore the blue/green colour of broccoli leaves.

  9. Your broccolies look good well done. I was amazed too that the stem are tender especially right after you harvest them. The side-shoots attached new leaves from sprouting broccoli also taste good.

  10. Well done VG , it's so nice to have success after all the hard work. My broccoli hasn't flowered yet and my lovely little cauliflowers went to seed before they were big enough to pick.
    Can't think why. x

  11. That pasta dish sounds divine. A this side of the globe I have broccoli seedlings waiting to be planted out for my winter greens bed - once I've figured out how I'm going to cover them.


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