Bang Bang Broccoli & Black Beans

We are harvesting so much broccoli from our fields at the moment! Expect lots in your set boxes or add some to the ‘build your own’ box for a special reduced price. Broccoli is brilliant! Broccoli is a good source of fibre and protein, and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium as well as the vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid. A real Irish super-food! I’ll be steaming some batches to put in boxes in the freezer to add to loads of different meals. Here’s one of our favourite family meals that uses a lot of broccoli.

Bang bang chicken is a traditional Sichuan dish of poached chicken which is then ‘banged’ to shred it and dressed in a spicy sauce. It’s a refreshing dish served with julienned cucumber. This is my plant-based nod to that classic. Definitely not authentic, but delicious none-the-less. It’s really simple. Nutritious broccoli and black beans are drenched in a spicy sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and then roasted. You can serve it with rice or noodles, or it’s delicious as a warm salad with spiralized courgette.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 2 tins of black beans
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp lime juice (or vinegar)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable or toasted sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari if you need gluten free)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • a big thumb of ginger
  • fresh red chillies to taste
  • 6 tbsp sesame seeds
  • scallions, fresh coriander and extra chillies to serve
  • rice or noodles to serve

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C and find a large roasting tray, or two trays if you don’t have a very large one. You want to be able to spread the ingredients into a single layer.
  2. Trim as little as possible off the stalks of the broccoli. Just a sliver off the end is usually enough – those bits can go in the compost bin. Then cut the whole stalk away from the florets, slice it in half lengthways and then slice each half into long, thin strips. Put them in the roasting dish. Then cut the heads of the broccoli into bites sized florets and add them to the roasting tray too.
  3. Drain the tins of black beans and add them to the tray. Then make the dressing.
  4. Mix the soy sauce, oil, lime juice/vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl. Finely dice the chilli, garlic and ginger and add them to the bowl. Mix well and then pour the dressing over the broccoli and black beans.
  5. Use your hands to mix the sauce into the broccoli and beans, then spread the ingredients out into a single layer. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and put the tray into the oven to roast for just 20 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
  6. Meanwhile cook your rice or noodles and prepare the toppings. Slice scallions, coriander and extra red chillies.
  7. Serve in bowls and enjoy hot or cold. We like to make an extra batch of the dressing with toasted sesame oil but without the raw garlic and ginger to drizzle over the finished dish too to make it extra juicy and spicy.

Potatoes & Peas with Mint Salsa Verde

How about a potato salad with fresher flavours? A tangy, herby salsa verde made with mint and capers pairs perfectly with peas and buttery new potatoes. If you don’t have peas in the freezer, switch them with any fresh greens you like. We particularly love this salad with thinly sliced raw courgette in place of the peas or chopped and steamed French beans or broccoli. Anyway you make it, it’s a brilliant bowl to bring along to a BBQ.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 12 new potatoes
  • 150g cooked peas (or this is lovely with thinly sliced raw courgette or chopped and steamed French beans or broccoli too!)
  • 25g fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Halve and boil the new potatoes until tender, then drain and cool while you make the salsa verde.
  2. Put the mint, garlic, capers, lemon juice and olive oil into a blender.
  3. Blend into a loose sauce then taste – add more lemon, olive oil or capers to taste. You shouldn’t need to add salt, the capers are plenty salty enough.
  4. Put the cooked and cooled potatoes into a bowl with the peas (or broccoli, French beans or courgette slices) and drizzle over half the salsa verde and toss to combine.
  5. Add more salsa verde or keep left overs in a jar in the fridge and use within a week. It’s great over salads & roasted vegetables, spread into a wrap or stirred through a summery soup or stew.