Nigel Slater’s recipe for broccoli, pumpkin seeds and breadcrumbs

The recipe
Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan, add 50g of fresh white breadcrumbs and cook, turning them regularly in the pan, until they are crisp and golden.

Roughly chop 10g (or else about a generous handful) of parsley and stir into the crumbs with a little salt, black pepper and 3 tbsp of pumpkin seeds. (I like to chop them roughly, but it is up to you.) Set aside.

Bring a litre of vegetable stock (or water) to the boil in a saucepan. Cut 1kg of broccoli into florets and slice the stalks into thin coins. Cook the broccoli for a few minutes until tender, then remove half of it.

Purée half of the broccoli in a blender or food processor with a ladle of the cooking stock, a little salt and pepper and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Divide between 2 warm plates. Drain the remaining broccoli and add to the purée, then scatter with the crisp breadcrumbs and seeds. Trickle a little olive oil over the broccoli, and serve. Enough for 2

The trick
My problem with broccoli is its ability to go from steaming hot to stone cold in a matter of seconds. While you are making the purée, keep the rest of the broccoli in the hot water in which you cooked it. Once you have placed the purée on the plates, work quickly to make sure the dish is served hot.

The twist
Cauliflower works here, as you might imagine. The breadcrumbs can be added to as you wish. Some cherry tomatoes, cut into small dice, is a fine idea, added at the very last minute to retain the crispness of the crumbs. I’d also suggest some finely chopped anchovies – they are so good with any member of the brassica family.