Annie Bell’s sprouting broccoli with poached eggs and almond picada recipe

This almond picada is similar to a pesto and a lovely way of dressing up a lightly poached egg and crisp, golden grilled broccoli.

sprouting broccoli with poached eggs
Louise Hagger


400g purple-sprouting (or Tenderstem) broccoli
50g flaked almonds
30g flat-leaf parsley (leaves and fine stalks)
1 heaped tsp chopped shallot
1 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar, plus a slug for the eggs
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 large eggs
Smoked paprika for dusting

  1. Bring 2 large pans of water to the boil. Trim the broccoli stalks where they visibly toughen; if they are any thicker than an asparagus spear they can be peeled to just below the flowering top. Add the broccoli to one pan and cook for 3 minutes leaving them on the crisp side as they will be cooked further, then drain using a colander and leave for a few minutes to steam dry. You can also steam the broccoli in a covered pan for about 4 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for the picada, whiz the almonds in a food processor to fine crumbs, then add the parsley, shallot and a little salt and whiz to a sticky crumble. Now add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of oil and whiz to a thick purée.
  3. Heat a ridged griddle over a medium heat. Toss the broccoli in a large bowl with the remaining oil and some salt, and grill in two to three batches for 2-3 minutes each side until golden, turning it using tongs.
  4. When grilling the final batch of spears, poach the eggs. Add a slug of vinegar to the second pan of water, and keep it at a trembling simmer over a low heat. Gently stir into a whirlpool using a large spoon, and break in the eggs. Poach for 4 minutes, then remove them using a slotted spoon, trimming off the tendrils of white against the side of the saucepan.
  5. Serve a poached egg on top of a pile of the broccoli, dust with paprika and then dot with some of the picada.