Broccoli is a good source of Vitamin C as well as Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin K, fiber, and many other vitamins and minerals. It also contains more protein than most other vegetables.
Buying and storing
BUYING: Choose broccoli that has tightly closed buds and crisp leaves. Choose odorless broccoli that is dark green to purple tinged in color. Do not wash broccoli until just before preparing it.
STORING: Store broccoli in a loose bag in the refrigerator. Fresh broccoli is best if used within a day or two after being purchased. It will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator. Once cooked, any leftovers may be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days in a tightly covered container.
Preparing and cooking
Wash broccoli thoroughly. Begin at the top of the stalk and find the place where it separates into florets. Cut the florets about an inch down from their tops. If you are going to cook the pieces, try to make them all roughly the same size. Continue to cut the florets, moving up the stalk as you go, until you have taken them all off. Chop into smaller pieces, if desired. Use a vegetable peeler to remove leaves and tough skin from the stalk. Cut the stalk into roughly equal pieces, making them smaller than the florets since they will take longer to cook.
Broccoli will retain its bright green color, crisp tenderness, and sweetness if you cook it just until a fork can pierce the stalk.
STEAMING: Place chopped broccoli in a steamer basket in a pot. Add 1 inch of water, cover with lid, and bring to a boil. Steam, covered, for 4-5 minutes.
MICROWAVING: Place chopped broccoli in a microwave-safe container. Microwave just long enough for broccoli to be easily cut with a fork - about 3-4 minutes.
Ways to enjoy
- Eat broccoli tops or peeled stems raw with your favorite dip.
- Add broccoli to salads, soups, stews, casseroles, egg dishes, and stir fries.
- Steam broccoli and add a squeeze of lemon, balsamic vinegar, or a little cheese.