How do I love thee, Purple Sprouting Broccoli?

Let me count the ways.

1. Your fragile beauty inspires haiku 

broccoli sprouts

shy purple trees –

spring breathes.


2. You look great in stir fry


What’s in it:  leeks, peas, Jerusalem artichokes, spicy red pepper, chard, bit of carrot, and purple sprouting broccoli. Soup with pumpkin, ginger & rice noodles (gluten free, bought on a whim from Persepolis in Peckham).

What to do:  stir fry the veg with fresh minced ginger + garlic in sesame oil, touch of chilli oil, add soy sauce, some veg broth, noodles.  Simmer until done.

3.  You jazz up my pasta

broc2What’s in it:  mushrooms, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, and purple sprouting broccoli.  Cooked in a white sauce with risoni (again, bought on a whim from Persepolis).

What to do:  Cook the risoni in veg broth to strengthen the flavor.  Thin the white sauce with the pasta water if you like.

4. Beef bourguignon loves you too

broc1What’s in it:  beef (like braised steak) in wine sauce with mushrooms and shallots, bundle of herbs (like marjoram and rosemary), whole garlic cloves.  Purple sprouting broccoli cooked separately with slivered almonds and added as an afterthought.

What to do:  Cook the beef bourguignon tenderly and slowly.  Serve with broccoli to add a touch of color.


I went with some friends to a fusion power plant tour at Culham Science Centre to see some particle colliders last Wednesday and feel I must express the experience in verse.


tubes and spirals of magnetic ghost traces and flashing brilliance of

plasma burning

shooting electrons from a pea gun in

frozen Helium pellets

tubes and spirals of metal feeding electrons in, neutrons out

metal diamond signs

with bold, stern letters

tritium caution tape

eager robot hands work as we watch

in yellow hard hats.

I have never wanted caution tape so badly in my life!!


Ode to Camberwell

Your chimney-spiked spine

rises from the grimy, paved street.

Brick-faced, blackened with age, window-lined vacant eyes


Camberwell, you are

huddled masses of black jackets,

grey hoodies, black umbrellas, plastic covered buggies

splattered with rain and red buses with steaming people.

From somewhere tucked inside

your alley, a child cries, the laughing screech of a fox,

music drifts and blends

into sooty, wood spiced smoke.

A siren tears through your street while

vacant window eyes watch.

I’m not lovin’ it

O McTraitor

let none hail your

golden arches

dripping with transfatty capitalism

You charge £1.50 for terrible coffee

£5 for moonburger

in soft white bun

your antifood is tasteless

it smells of oblivion.


Destroyer of the Poor and Hurried,

will not beckon me 

with your sirens call

with your Red and Yellow eye pollution

no matter how high you build those arches!