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Broccoli Tips

Get top recipes and quick tips for preparing this healthy, versatile vegetable.

Pick the Perfect Floret

Though it thrives in the cold weather and peaks from late autumn to early spring, broccoli is available fresh year-round. Here's what to look for when shopping for broccoli:

  • The best broccoli will have dark green tops with lighter green stems.
  • Buds should be tightly closed, with no mushy spots or signs of yellowing. 
  • The stalks should feel firm and crisp, never limp or wobbly.

At most stores, you can also buy packages of pre-cut broccoli florets--look for the same characteristics to ensure quality.

Broccoli can stay fresh for up to two weeks if you store it unwashed, dry, and tightly wrapped in a plastic bag. Keep in mind broccoli's nutritional value depletes the longer you store it, so you're better off using it as soon as possible.

Another alternative is frozen broccoli--you can use as much or as little as you like and freezing does a great job of preserving nutrients.

Cook It Right

Perfectly cooked broccoli is an appetizing bright green with a mild, pleasant flavor and a tender but firm texture. To avoid overcooking, uncover once it's done and serve right away. You can also plunge it into an ice bath to stop the cooking--this will preserve the color, flavor, and nutrients.

An International Favorite

Broccoli is tremendously popular in Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and American cuisines.

Try it lightly steamed or raw as a snack, battered and fried, simmered in soup, seared in a stir-fry, baked in a casserole, or quiche, tossed in a salad, sprinkled on pizza, or mixed into your favorite pasta.

And don't throw away that stalk! Try shredding it and substituting it for cabbage (its cousin) in your favorite coleslaw recipe.

Sep. 17, 2010 5:54 pm
I've never tried shredding the stems, but they're great peeled :)
Oct. 18, 2010 3:49 pm
yum yum broccoli!=P
Oct. 19, 2010 6:29 am
Broccoli is one of my favourite veggies! Glad to see it as the "Ingredient of the Week" - perhaps this will help spread the word and encourage people to enjoy some this week! Broccoli is so delish!
Oct. 19, 2010 5:48 pm
I just posted an Italian Broccoli dish on my profile!
Oct. 20, 2010 8:51 am
my favorite vegetable!
Oct. 20, 2010 6:30 pm
Brocoli is so full of nutrition specially if it is free of pesticides . otherwise:
Oct. 24, 2010 9:48 am
I steam the broccoli in a pot, when done, I drain the water and sprinkle blue cheese crumbles over it, and let it melt. WHOLLY YUMMY
Nov. 3, 2010 6:56 am
I love broccoli. I eat it raw, and it is so good.
Tabs Sheikh 
Dec. 28, 2010 2:03 pm
I love steamed brocolli, with a mild zesty-lemony dressing and best part - doesn't take more than 5 mins to prepare. Yum Yum!!
Jan. 20, 2011 7:54 am
am a vegeterian brocolli is good for me.ijust love it
Mar. 3, 2011 10:11 pm
and it's a great belly fat burner
Mar. 31, 2011 2:29 pm
Just my favorite vegetable. I love it raw like most vegetables. We have it on the top of our salad almost every night. Its one of those foods I buy regardless of the price because its so good for you.
Jul. 7, 2011 3:22 pm
When using broccoli in salads I like to cook it 'til it's almost tender crisp. Chill broccoli and stir into your salad. This makes it easier to chew and I thinks its more flavorful, just my opinion.
Feb. 3, 2012 4:47 am
Tips on cooking or steaming perfect broccoli. Thanks.
Jun. 7, 2012 11:20 am
Ok I love broccoli any way. But after I wuse the flowerettes in salad, do I need to throw away all those tender stems?
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