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Crops & Varieties: Broccoli

Yes, it really is that pretty.

Quick tips

Blanching or steaming preserves the rich emerald color of the veg as long as it isn’t overcooked.

Don’t skip the stems (simply trim the bottom inch or two)! With our broccoli, the stems are a rich, tender, delicious part of the vegetable that should be eaten raw or peel the rough outer layer and prepare like artichoke hearts. Veggie expert extraordinaire, Sarah Raven, suggests testing stalks by pressing your thumb into them, if they give easily they’re tender enough to eat, if not use a vegetable peeler. They take a bit longer to cook than the florets, so whether steaming or boiling put the stems in first.

Make quick broccoli with garlic. Sautee garlic in a dab of vegetable oil until fragrant, then toss in coarsely-chopped broccoli and a splash of sesame oil and toss the mixture for 4-6 minutes, just softening the broccoli a little. Top with sesame seeds to make it pretty and add protein and texture.

Make a finely-minced broccoli salad (including stems) with mayonnaise or sour cream and raisins. Add just a splash of apple cider vinegar and a bit of salt and pepper. Acid turns broccoli yellow-brown so always add vinegar or lemon just before serving.

Try it on the grill. Just cut a big head in half, brush with olive oil and salt and pepper, and place flat side down on the grill until tender. Delicious drizzled with lemon juice, salt and pepper (see below).

While we don't officially endorse dipping raw broccoli florets into ranch dressing, we do acknowledge that it's delicious.


Broccoli is best used when fresh, within about a week or so. Refrigerate in a plastic bag, but don’t close the bag all the way; broccoli needs a little air to stay fresh!

Wash only when ready to use.

Broccoli can be also be frozen. Here’s a guide to how to do it from Simple Bites.


101 Cookbooks: Broccoli-Basil Mac & Cheese

101 Cookbooks: Double-Broccoli Quinoa

Eating Clean Recipes: Roasted Broccoli

The Noble Pig: Grilled Broccoli and Lemons

Preparation types and times

Blanching 3 to 6 minutes
Boiling: 4 to 6 minutes
Sauteing 4 to 5 minutes
Steaming: 3 to 7 minutes
Stir-frying 4 to 5 minutes
Give stems a 2-minute head start.

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