In market towns they have plentiful supplies of purple sprouting broccoli, white sprouting broccoli is worth looking out for too (Nigel Slater has written a helpful article in the Guardian). My greengrocer sells purple sprouting broccoli in a small bundle and it is ridiculously expensive, I had to take a deep breath before handing over my money.
The recipe for this tart is from April 2013 Delicious Magazine, fortunately it only needs a few broccoli spears. The original recipe uses Wensleydale Cheese and also double cream but I've adapted the recipe, I had a slab of Cheddar cheese and a pot of creme fraiche in the fridge and they worked perfectly.
You will need: 26cm loose based flan tin
few spears of purple sprouting broccoli
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely diced
3 large eggs and 2 yolks, beaten
250ml creme fraiche
150g Cheddar cheese, grated
35g cream cheese
For the pastry:
300g plain flour
145g butter, chilled and cubed
approx 4 tbsp iced water
1. Whiz the flour and butter in a food processor until the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Add 4 tablespoons of iced water and whiz again until the pastry starts to come together. Tip out onto a board and form into a ball of dough. Shape into a round, and cover with cling wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and allow to stand for a while, otherwise it will be difficult to roll out the pastry.
2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Roll out the pastry and line the tart tin with pastry, I always use this method from Delia's site How To Bake a Pastry Case.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC.
4. Blanch the broccoli spears in salted boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and refresh in ice-cold water. Drain really well again.
5. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the shallots for 10 minutes to soften.
6. Whisk the eggs, yolks, cream, Cheddar and cream cheese in a jug, season.
7. Spread the shallots on the base of the pastry case. Pour over the egg mixture. Arrange the broccoli florets over the egg mixture. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until just set.
8. Remove from the oven and cool. Best eaten whilst warm.