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About Broccoli

Broccoli Broccoli consists of dark green clusters of buds, known as florets, which grow on branching arms that connect to a thick leafy stalk. Broccoli is harvested before the buds begin to blossom. This vegetable is a relative to cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. The head of branching florets and approximately 6 inches of the stalk are the edible parts of the vegetable. It is one of the most versatile of vegetables grown and can be eaten raw or cooked. It is readily available, easy to cook and is low in cost.

The leaf, stalk and florets can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw, it is eaten on its own accompanied by a dip or cut up and added to salads. When cooked, it can be eaten as a side dish, alone or topped with a sauce, such as au gratin, hollandaise, or Mornay. It is also often added to other dishes, such as stir fries, pasta, quiches, omelets, soups, and stews. Broccoli is available all year round in food stores but when growing, it does best in cool weather.

How to Buy:
When selecting broccoli, look for thick heads of compact, tiny bud clusters that are evenly dark green (or with purplish tint) in color. The broccoli should have a fresh aroma and a firm but tender stalk. Avoid heads that have yellowing florets, a strong odor, or open buds. Also, avoid heads that show signs of wilting of the florets or stalk.

Broccoli should be left unwashed when storing. Store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, leaving the bag open or use a perforated plastic bag. This will avoid excess moisture, which causes mold to grow. Store up to 5 days. Broccoli can be blanched and then frozen and kept in the freezer for up to a year. Broccoli is very sensitive to ethylene, which is a gas given off by some fruits and vegetables. The gas speeds up the ripening process so broccoli should not be stored with ethylene producing fruits and vegetables, such as, apples, apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, mango, peaches, pears, tomato, and white sapote.




  1. Broccoli Almondine
  2. Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  3. Cream of Broccoli Soup
  4. Broccoli Quinoa
  5. Ginger-Poached Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli
  6. Shrimp and Broccoli Fried Rice with Toasted Almonds
  7. Tofu and Broccoli Fried Rice with Toasted Almonds
  8. Warm salad of sprouting broccoli, onion squash and chilli and hazelnut sauce from Australian chef Skye Gyngell
  9. Stir-Fried Wide Fresh Rice Noodles With Broccoli And Black Soy (Gkuay Dtiow Pad Seeyew) from Kasma
  10. Spicy Chicken and Basil Fried Rice (Kao Pad Gai Krapao) with Asian Broccoli from Kasma
  11. Heidi Swanson's Couscous Soup very fast to make with broccoli, caulflower and other vegetables
  12. Olive Oil and Broccoli Sauce from Joe Famularo
  13. Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta and Vegetables from Fitness Magazine
  14. Broccoli with Peanuts (Pud Thai Broccoli Sai Tua Ob) from Food of the World: Thailand

Lee's Broccoli Cooking Tips

Lee, author of Lee's RecipesCut off and retain the stalks. Combine and pressure cook with other vegetable trimmings such as artichoke stalks in potato water to create a vegetable broth. Alternately, julienne and add to pressure cooked pilaf rices, such as Lee's Brown Rice Pilaf or soups.

Cook broccoli in pressure cooker on high:

Broccoli, flowerets 2 minutes
Broccoli, stalks 5 to 6 minutes
Broccoli, stalks, 1/4" (5 mm) slices 3 to 4 minutes


Broccoli Almondine

Above: Broccoli Almondine


Growing Broccoli

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Broccoli is a hardy vegetable of the cabbage family that is high in vitamins A and D. It develops best during cool seasons of the year.
When broccoli plants of most varieties are properly grown and harvested, they can yield over an extended period. Side heads develop after the large, central head is removed. Two crops per year (spring and fall) may be grown in most parts of the country. New heat tolerant varieties allow broccoli to be produced in all but the hottest parts of the season.
Transplants are recommended to give the best start for spring planting, because transplanting gets the plants established more quickly. Thus they can bear their crop with minimal interference from the extreme heat of early summer. Fall crops may be direct-seeded in the garden if space allows or may be started in flats to replace early crops when their harvest ends.

See more about growing broccoli at: