Availability: All year; peak October to April.
Buying Guide: Look for tightly closed, compact, dark green to purplish-green flowerets on tender, firm stalks. Avoid those with yellow flowers,
wilted leaves, and thick, tough stems.
Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 4 days.
History: A son of cabbage, broccoli was developed by horticulturalists from its flower. This Asian vegetable was cultivated in Italy in the 16th century. Although Thomas Jefferson brought it to America in the early 1800s for his garden at Monticello, it was not common on American tables until the 1920s.
- Trim leaves from broccoli stalks. Trim off tough ends of stalks. Cut broccoli into flowerets by removing each head; include a small piece of the stem.
Cut the broccoli into flowerets by
removing the majority of the stalk.
- Peel stems with vegetable peeler; cut crosswise into pieces, if desired.
To prepare the broccoli stem,
peel and cut crosswise.
- To steam broccoli, rinse flowerets and pieces. Place steamer basket in large saucepan; add 1 inch of water. (Water should not touch bottom of basket.) Place buttons in steamer; top with flowerets. Cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; steam 4 to 6 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender. Add water, as necessary, to prevent pan from boiling dry.
Steam the broccoli until it turns
bright green and crisp-tender.
Cauliflower has many of the same characteristics of broccoli. Learn about this vegetable on the next page.
Not what you're looking for? Try these:
- Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.
- Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.
- Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.