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Purple sprouting broccoli with  anchovy hollandaise

Purple sprouting broccoli with anchovy hollandaise

This vibrant green starter by Diana Henry is lifted by the anchovy sauce

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  • Serves8
  • CourseStarter
  • Prepare5 mins
  • Cook15 mins
  • Total time20 mins
  • Pluscooking time 15-20 minutes

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  • 650g purple sprouting broccoli

For the reduction

  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf

For the sauce

  • 3 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg yolks
  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into 1.5cm cubes, at room temperature
  • ½ small clove garlic, grated to a purée
  • 40g anchovies in oil, drained and chopped
  • 1 Ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1 Lemon juice, to taste


  1. To make the reduction, put all the ingredients and 50ml water into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and reduce by ½. You won’t have a lot left but that’s as it should be – you don’t need lots. Strain to remove the solids.

  2. For the sauce, put the egg yolks, a cube of butter and pinch of salt in a glass bowl, or ceramic pudding bowl. Using a wooden spoon, beat this to bring the yolks and butter together, then add ½ tsp of the reduction.

  3. Put some water into a flameproof roasting tin – about halfway up the sides – and heat it until hand-hot. If the water is too hot the sauce will curdle. Turn off the heat under the roasting tin.

  4. Put the bowl into the roasting tin, then start adding the rest of the butter to the bowl, one cube at a time, while beating with a wooden spoon. Make sure to add more butter only when the previous lot has been incorporated and the sauce has thickened. As it becomes thicker and more butter has been added, you can put the roasting tin back on a low heat, but watch it all the time to make sure the water isn’t too hot. You can now move the bowl around, from hotter to cooler patches of water.

  5. When all the butter has been incorporated and is thick, take the bowl out of the roasting tin. Pound the garlic and anchovies together in a mortar until you have a paste. Stir into the hollandaise. Then decide what you need to finish it – you will probably need white pepper and lemon, perhaps salt, and you might also need some of the reduction. Put the bowl back into the roasting tin and cover it with foil. It can stay warm in here for about 30 minutes, off the heat.

  6. Trim the bases of the broccoli, cutting any large spears in half lengthways. Cook them in a steamer for 5-8 minutes, until tender. Tumble them into a clean tea towel (the cloth will soak up any moisture) and divide the broccoli between 8 plates. Spoon some warm hollandaise on top, then serve immediately.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


1,195kJ/ 290kcals



Saturated Fat












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