Deep-fried sprouting broccoli with almonds, chilli and garlic

Serves 4 as a starter

This is a kind of vegetarian version of the fantastic soft-shell crab I often order in Yauatcha in Soho. I'm totally hooked, as you have probably gathered by now, on Doves Farm gluten-free self-raising flour – the stuff works like a dream when it comes to creating light battered dishes.

200-250g sprouting broccoli, trimmed of any woody stalks and washed
100g Doves Farm gluten-free self-raising flour
Cold water, to mix
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying
1 large red chilli, thinly sliced
4 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
40g flaked almonds

Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes then drain in a colander and leave to cool.

Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer.

Put the self-raising flour in a mixing bowl and whisk enough cold water in to make a light batter and season.

Dip the broccoli in the batter and fry in a couple of batches for 2-3 minutes, moving them around with a slotted spoon, until crisp. Remove from the fat and drain on some kitchen paper and season with a little salt.

Transfer a couple of tablespoons of the hot oil to a frying pan and quickly cook the chilli and garlic on a medium heat for a minute, stirring and lightly colouring them; add the almonds, season with a little salt and continue cooking and stirring for a couple of minutes until the almonds are lightly coloured.

To serve, lay the broccoli on a warmed serving dish and spoon the almond mixture over.