Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Thai-Style Dressing

Asparagus is probably the most popular spring-time vegetable. However, as one might imagine, there are other vegetables coming into season at this time of the year. After all, we don’t live exclusively on asparagus in the way that the Irish in the nineteenth-century lived, almost comically so, on a diet composed almost entirely of potatoes. The subject of this post, purple sprouting broccoli, is one of the most interesting of the current seasonal treats. This rather attractive vegetable, or brassica to be more precise, is beautiful both inside and out. In my opinion, purple sprouting broccoli is a far more interesting ingredient than asparagus in both its taste and appearance. This variety of broccoli is also, as it happens, far cheaper than asparagus. Indeed, it works out at a little less than half the price.

Serendipitously, today marks the concluding day of the Thai New Year, or Songkran festival. It is rather strange how my discovery of purple sprouting broccoli, an ingredient known to suit Eastern flavours rather well, coincided exactly with this celebration. Obviously, the dressing which accompanies the broccoli isn’t traditional in the slightest. However, the flavour it imparts does remind one of the essences of Thai cuisine.

One thing I ought to mention is that the ‘tips’ section of frugalfeeding has returned. It has been streamlined and simplified and should help to give even those of you who are particularly well off an improved impulse to feed frugally. I hope it comes in handy.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Thai-Style Dressing

Serves 4


• 250g purple sprouting broccoli

• 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

• 1 lump of ginger, finely chopped

• 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, finely chopped fresh chilli would also work

• A glug of olive oil

• A drizzle of white wine vinegar

• Salt and pepper


1. Steam your broccoli gently over around half an inch of water. This should take no more than 4 minutes. If you cook it for any longer it’ll begin to lose both its flavour and its goodness.

2. Sauté the garlic, ginger and chilli gently in a generous glug of olive oil. Pour this over the cooked broccoli, season and scatter with a little white wine vinegar. Serve with pasta or steamed rice.

Cost: Despite what people may think, good ingredients can be had cheaply. The broccoli used in this recipe was top quality and grown in the UK, yet the dish only set me back £1.90 including the accompanying carbs. Using ingredients wisely really does pay off.

  • 0

    Overall Score

  • Reader Rating: 0 Votes

You May Also Like

102 comments on “Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Thai-Style Dressing

  1. thebigbookofdating
    April 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    mmm yummy

  2. Meredith
    April 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    That broccoli is exquisite!

  3. spree
    April 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Like eating a bouquet! How gorgeously delicious!

  4. countrywoodsmoke
    April 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    I love PSB, I quite often just eat a bowl of it by itself. This is a great recipe to mix it up a little. My kids enjoy it too, so will see if they like this pimped up version.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      Yes. It does have a great flavour on its own – this doesn’t disguise it either. Thanks, Marcus.

  5. danyandy
    April 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm


  6. Just A Smidgen
    April 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    I loved this.. it’s just the post I needed to see today (with it still snowing outside) They almost look like hyacinths.. beautiful purple color to serve! I’ll see if we have this here, it would be lovely to try!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      Thanks, Smidge! they are so pretty and vivid.

  7. ruduss
    April 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    ooh – my favourite side dish to order when at a Thai restaurant 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Fantastic! I’ve never actually been to a Thai restaurant.

  8. cookinginsens
    April 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    That does look nice! I’m thinking a side of rib steak 🙂

  9. k.m.
    April 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I love purple sprouting broccoli, it’s one of my favorite veggies. I usually do a sauce from Nigel Slater’s Tender Vol. I, but this one looks great too.

    I think your dressing would go well with sugar pea shoots, though they are probably similarly priced to asparagus. Worth it though, for the indulgence!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Don’t talk to me about him – he annoys me SO much. Thanks! I think it would too.

      • k.m.
        April 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm

        Hee! Oops! I shan’t mention him again around you, funny how certain cooks drive us batty.

        • frugalfeeding
          April 25, 2012 at 11:49 pm

          Indeed – he’s just so smug and far too self-assured. He probably reminds me of myself, but with far larger ears.

  10. thelittleloaf
    April 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I love PSB – my favourite way of eating it at the moment is dressed with crispy chorizo and hard boiled eggs with slightly runny centres but this looks lovely too. Great little recipe.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Glad to hear it, Kate! That sounds incredible…

  11. An Unrefined Vegan
    April 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Haven’t seen that kind of broccoli in our markets. Too bad, it looks beautiful. Yummy dressing!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      That’s a shame! You should try to find some.

  12. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    April 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I’ll have to keep an eye out for those!

  13. Shira
    April 15, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Gorgeous! Looks so fresh – I imagine broccolini would do as would regular broccoli (especially with that sauce!) Love this. So simple!

  14. shuhan
    April 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    just gorgeous! I love psb! I really think it’s underrated. love it (especially roasted) not just for its flavour but the beautiful purple florets. got yet another bag of it from the farmer’s market on saturday might very well do this as I have all the ingredients. may sub the salt for fish sauce for more thai-ness.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Thanks! It really is underrated. I hope you do try it.

  15. Michelle
    April 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Boring comment, yes. But all I can say is: that looks so good!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Every comment is appreciated, Michelle! Thanks!

  16. Vanesther
    April 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Spotted this in my inbox just as I sat down to plan next week’s meals. It’s definitely on the list as I also see there is PSB to come in my veggie box – can’t wait!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Awesome, Vanesther – what a happy coincidence!

  17. debbrunson
    April 15, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Thank you for introducing lesser-apprecated veg. And this guy is so beautiful… well done 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      I try to bring everything to the fore :D. Thanks!

  18. Somer
    April 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    So simple and so tasty. My favorite kind of recipe

  19. denlyn3
    April 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I like the addition of the ginger.

  20. lovelyontheinside
    April 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    wow! I don’t even like brocolli and this looks delish! Maybe i’ll have to revisit brocolli with this recipe 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      It’s a really nice type of broccoli! Far nicer than the usual sort.

  21. Choc Chip Uru
    April 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I am a huge lover of Thai food so this recipe sings to me 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  22. Conor Bofin
    April 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Frugal, at the risk of seeming like a raving Republican, could I suggest reading this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland)
    The socio political reasons for our ancestors living on potatoes can be seen. There was very little comical about it.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      I’ve studied it extensively, being an historian – I didn’t mean to suggest the result was comical, I was merely poking fun at outdated and unreasonable nineteenth century prejudices that were held against the Irish. Sorry that you took offence.

      • Conor Bofin
        April 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm

        Thanks Frugal, I did not see that in what was written. No offence taken at all. It is all long behind us. Sure, did I not marry a Brit.

  23. baconbiscuit212
    April 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    So pretty. Looks delicious!

  24. chefconnie
    April 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    That broccoli is beautiful. Love the Thai spices. This is going in my recipes to make file for sure.

  25. Ragamuffin Diaries
    April 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    what a lovely vegetable! Great pairing with the thai dressing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen purple broccoli around here, but it sounds like something to keep in mind for the garden sometime!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      It really is beautiful. I don;t know how available it is elsewhere.

  26. Smedette
    April 16, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Hell. Yes.

  27. susartandfood
    April 16, 2012 at 3:00 am

    I love trees – I will make a bunch and just squeeze lemon over them and eat them for lunch. Looks yum.

  28. Time To Be Inspired
    April 16, 2012 at 5:27 am

    I have never seen PSB before. It is beautiful! Your recipe looks very tasty.

  29. Korena in the Kitchen
    April 16, 2012 at 5:37 am

    LOVE purple sprouting broccoli! My mum grows it in her garden but I’ve never seen it ifor sale anywhere, unfortunately. This looks like a great way to eat it.

  30. thehealthyfitdiva
    April 16, 2012 at 7:19 am

    never seen purple sprouting broccoli before but it looks so beautiful. broccoli i by far my favourite vegetable 🙂

  31. throve
    April 16, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I’ve never seen purple broccoli before. Nice colour.

  32. promenadeplantings
    April 16, 2012 at 8:00 am

    On my trips home I’ve been munching on pounds of the stuff from the garden, and yes I make a thai style dressing too! I think you can almost taste the iron and vitamin B’s when you eat PSB. Strnagely I don’t see it in France at all. Now looking forward to sampling more when I get home )

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      I’m jealous you have access to so much! that’s funny!

  33. Chica Andaluza
    April 16, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Stunning dressing and as for the beautiful broccoli – wish we´d remembered to plant some this year 🙁

  34. The Starving Artist
    April 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm


  35. egg me on
    April 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Whoa, I’ve never seen purple sprouting broccoli before! But it looks beautiful. Love how simple this dish is. Great stuff.

  36. bountifulbackyard
    April 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Reblogged this on Bountiful Backyard and commented:
    I’m proud to say that today Bountiful Backyard marked it’s 2,oooth hit! Thank you to my readers! I’d like to share this post from a cooking blog that I joyfully follow called Frugal Feeding from the UK. After seeing this purple sprouting broccoli dish, I’m on a mission to find purple sprouting broccoli seeds for the garden. So unique and beautiful!

  37. sabrina
    April 16, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Hey, thanks for the comment on my blog! I love asparagus, but brokkoli is also a good choice if you want to eat veggies in spring… Simplicity at its best! Love it!

  38. thekalechronicles
    April 16, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Lovely, Nick. Hold the asparagus and pass the broccoli, please. Add fish sauce , lime and a bit of brown sugar and you’ve got the whole Thai flavor profile.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks, Sharyn. I think adding all that would have been an injustice to the broccoli.

  39. Purely.. Kay
    April 17, 2012 at 5:42 am

    I LOVE broccoli and this recipe would definitely be great with just about any main dish. Love this my friend

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Thanks, Kay. I’ve not eaten much broccoli in my time!

  40. Clare Cooks!
    April 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I just bought some purple cauliflower for the first time. I think I’m going to try this with that.

  41. therealcupkate
    April 18, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Oh my god. You make awesomely delicious recipes! I have to try this one!

  42. Bam's Kitchen
    April 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Wow I have never seen purple sprouting broccoli before. Almost too pretty to eat. Ohh never mind I would get over that quickly if you put a plate with your yummy Thai seasoning on it in front of me. Take Care, BAM

    • frugalfeeding
      April 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      Really?! How surprising. I’m sure you’d tuck in, BAM.

  43. Malou
    April 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    This looks very yummy! I love Thai style of cooking. 😉

  44. Grace Dickinson
    April 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Beautiful! I’ve never had this before. I’m sure I’d love it though.

  45. Vanesther
    April 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    My husband cooked this for supper the other night and it was fantastic. Thanks for posting!

  46. Simran S. & Stacie D.
    April 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Will try this. I often use fancy balsamic to finish my veges – will try white vinegar – cheaper and I am sure to similar effect

    • frugalfeeding
      May 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      The white vinegar works better than balsamic here, for sure.

  47. fleetingdelights
    April 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Oh lucky you! I love broccoli but I doubt the PSB are readily available in Singapore. We do have the common broccoli, the chinese variety (kailan), as well as broccolini. I’m guessing even if I do find the PSB, I’m quite sure I would have to file it under the non-frugal category!

  48. Meagan Rossen
    May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am