4kg purple sprouting broccoli
400g chilli de seeded and cut into thin slices
10 x blood orange segments
For the dressing
200ml blood orange juice
100ml cider vinegar
1lt smoked rape seed oil
300g sliced preserved lemon
For the cultured curds
8lts whole milk
1lt of double cream
20 drops vegetable rennet
30g citric acid
Fresh grated nutmeg
For the infusion
2 leaves of bay
2 tbsn of wild season mix
This recipe represents the end of a very long winter and the first hints of spring. Purple sprouting broccoli is a very giving plant, it sprouts its florets from February into late April and is the highest yielding plant per square acre for a farmer, so a great resourceful crop.
I personally believe Purple sprouting broccoli is served best chargrilled so I treat it like cooking a sausage and as a result get a very smokey fired crispy delicious vegetable. The taste is heightened by the textures of linseeds and the acidity from blood orange complimented by the creaminess from the curds, and a touch of heat from the chilli. It is truly a stunning salad.
Chef’s Tip – Use the whey from the ricotta to make a reduction like Danish cheese, or marinate or cook a shoulder of pork in the whey and serve it with the salad.
Put all the milk into a big pan along with the bay leaves and wild season mix and bring to 80c, then leave to infuse.
Strain the milk through a sieve and then whisk in the rennet and citric acid. Leave to sit for 30mins. The curd will separate from the whey.
Leaving it in the pan, cut the curd into cubes of roughly the same size by first creating a grid pattern and then cutting diagonally through the curd. Bring the pot up to 80c again to set the curds firmer. Leave to sit for 30mins, then strain the ricotta through a muslin cloth for 2 hours.
When reasonably dry put the ricotta into a bowl and add 1l of cream along with the lemon zest and the grated nutmeg. Season to taste.
Prepare the Purple sprouting broccoli by dressing and then putting on the grill, so it steam cooks as well as getting chard and fired bitter flavor. Once cooked dress again then coat with sumac, serve in an open bowl with blood orange segments, the cultured curds, chilli and linseeds.
The Shed, The Rabbit, The Nutbourne