Why have one purée when you can have two? Both are delicious, but add them together and you won’t be able to stop yourself chowing down.
1 large head broccoli
2 fresh bay leaves
Salt and flaky sea salt
400g (14 oz) can cannellini beans
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp chopped rosemary
Pinch of chilli flakes
4 medium (size 6) free-range eggs
Splash of olive oil
Handful of fresh sage leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 Break broccoli into small florets. You can use a lot of the stem, but if it is coarse, peel it first. Bing a large pot of water to the boil and throw in the bay leaves. Salt the water then add the broccoli. Now you need to be brave – you’ve got to cook it past the ‘ponk’ stage, so open a window and get the cannellini bean purée underway because it smells way nicer. The point is, the broccoli needs to be very tender so that it can be mashed. Once nicely fork tender, drain in a sieve set over a bowl (to reserve some of the cooking water), then refresh with cold water.
2 Make cannellini purée while broccoli is cooking. Drain cannellini beans, reserving the ‘goop’ from the can. Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a small pan over a medium-low heat and add 1 crushed clove of garlic, the rosemary and chilli flakes. Sizzle gently for a few minutes, until the garlic is cooked through and just starting to change colour. Add drained beans and mash to a purée. Add enough reserved bean liquid to make a thick purée. Season with a little salt. Smooth the top, turn off the heat and cover pan with a lid.
3 Put 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan (skillet) and set the pan over a gentle heat. Add 1 clove of crushed garlic and cook briefly until it softens and just starts to colour. Add broccoli and start mashing it with a potato masher. Season with salt – add enough to make it taste delicious – and blend in a little of the cooking water to make a thick purée. Keep the purée hot, but don’t cover it, while you fry the eggs.
4 Fry the eggs in olive oil in a large hot frying pan (skillet), adding the sage leaves to the pan. Reheat cannellini purée, adding a little water from the can or broccoli cooking water if it has become thick. Dish onto heated plates, top with broccoli smash, swirl broccoli and cannellini together with a fork, then add an egg to each plate. Sprinkle with sea salt, grind over a little pepper, add sage leaves and sprinkle with parmesan. Serve immediately.
This double purée is amazing with a roast chicken and a salad of bitter leaves such as radicchio, rocket and witloof (endive), or with crumbed snitzels (or schnitzel!). In fact, this will go with anything that likes a soft ‘pillow’ of purée.