Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, related to cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale. This tree-shaped vegetable consists of the stem and flower buds of the plant. The cluster of flower buds is often called the “crown,” and both the stem and the crown are edible. Broccoli is usually green although sometimes you may see purple varieties. Broccoli is a good source of vitamins C and K. It also contains several B vitamins as well as several minerals, including calcium, iron, and potassium.
Broccoli will keep for about a week stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Rinse the broccoli in cold water to remove any grit. Cut the crown from the stem. This should cause the crown to break into several florets. You can cut these florets into smaller pieces if desired.
Slice off the tough bottom end of the stem and trim off any leaves. If the skin of the stem seems tough, you can peel it with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Slice or dice the stem as desired. The stem takes longer to cook than the florets. If you plan to cook them together, cut the stem into smaller pieces. The leaves are also edible. You can throw them in the pot with the rest of the broccoli.
Roast: Toss prepared broccoli with oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a greased baking pan in a single layer and roast at 400° until tender, about 20 – 30 minutes.
- Steam: Place prepared broccoli in a pot with 1-2” of simmering water (you can use a steamer basket if you have one). Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Microwave: Place prepared broccoli in a microwave dish with 2 – 3 tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid or a plate and microwave on high until tender, about 3 minutes for one pound of broccoli.
How to Use Broccoli
Eat the raw florets with dip as a snack.
Add the florets to a green salad or a pasta salad.
Roast or steam with other vegetables.
Add to stir-fries, soups, and casseroles.
Make a broccoli omelet.
Serve cooked broccoli as a side dish with butter and salt or grated cheese.
Use cooked broccoli with grated cheese as a topping for pasta.
Use broccoli as a pizza topping.