||Broccoli is a hardy vegetable that is tree-like in shape. It has soft, compact florets attached by small stems to a larger crunchy stalk.
||Do not wash broccoli before storing. Store it in an open plastic bag in the crisper section of your refrigerator. It keeps for 3 - 5 days. The sooner you enjoy, the more nutritious it will be.
||Steam, braise, stir-frying are some delicious ways to prepare broccoli. Regardless of the method, start cooking the stalks first (they take longer than the florets to become tender). For an easy side, steam broccoli, roll in lemon juice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Braised Broccoli with Olives
- 4 small heads broccoli or 1 1/2 or more pounds broccoli sprouts
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped marjoram or oregano
- 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive paste or finely chopped Gaeta olives
- grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1. Separate the stalks from the broccoli crowns. Thickly peel and trim the stalks and chop them into 1/2-inch pieces. Peel the base of the broccoli crowns, then separate them into florets.
2. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil; add salt, then the broccoli. Cook for 5 minutes (even if the water barely returns to the boil), then scoop into a colander to drain, reserving a cup of the water. Chop into small pieces just smaller than bite-sized.
3. Warm the olive oil in a wide skillet, then add the onion, marjoram, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring now and then, until the onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the olive paste; add the broccoli and stir to coat well. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and add the lemon zest. Add the reserved broccoli water and simmer gently until the broccoli is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Pureed Broccoli and Roasted Garlic Canapes
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
- 1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 16 1/2-inch-thick baguette slices
- 2 cups broccoli florets plus 1/2 cup peeled thinly sliced stalks (from about 8 ounces broccoli)
- 1 cup canned cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine garlic, oil and crushed red pepper in small custard cup. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until garlic is tender, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly. Arrange baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes.
Steam broccoli florets and stalks until very tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Drain. Transfer to processor. Add cannellini, lemon juice and oil-and-garlic mixture. Process until smooth. Season broccoli puree with salt and pepper. (Toasts and broccoli puree can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Store toasts airtight at room temperature. Cover and chill puree.)
Spread broccoli puree atop toasts. Transfer canapés to platter and serve.
Roasted Broccoli with Asiago
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 1 large bunch) broccoli, stalks trimmed to 2 inches below crowns
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut each crown of broccoli lengthwise into 4 spears. Place broccoli in large bowl; toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer broccoli to large rimmed baking sheet. Add grated Asiago cheese to same bowl. Roast broccoli until crisp-tender and stalks begin to brown, about 25 minutes. Return broccoli to bowl with cheese. Using tongs, toss to coat.
Asian Beef and Broccoli
yield: Makes 4 servings
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 pound sirloin beef tips, sliced against the grain 1/8 inch thick (or substitute portobella mushrooms for beef sirloin tips)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 10 ounces frozen broccoli florets, thawed (or equivalent quantity of fresh – one large head or a small bunch)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/3 cup water
Special equipment: a well-seasoned 14-inch flat-bottomed wok
Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs
Toss together cornstarch, salt, pepper, and beef in a bowl until meat is coated.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then stir-fry beef until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer with a slotted spoon to another bowl and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to wok along with broccoli and garlic and stir-fry over moderately high heat until broccoli is just tender and garlic is pale golden, about 2 minutes.
Add soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Return meat to skillet and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.
Cream of Broccoli-Crab Soup
Here’s an interesting – and regionally-appropriate, given our location in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay watershed – take on the classic cream of broccoli soup.
Ready in: < 30 minutes
Difficulty: 3 (1 = easiest, hardest = 5)
- 2 heads broccoli, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cans crab meat, drained or 1/2 pound fresh cleaned crabmeat
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-fat milk (I use evaporated)
- 2 cups half-n-half cream
- 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (more if needed)
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- pinch of thyme
Cook broccoli in a saucepan of water until just tender (do not overcook); drain, then pulse in a food processor. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, saute onion in butter, until tender. Add flour, cook and stir to make a roux. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly, until soup base thicken. Reduce heat; add cream, chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, cayenne, and thyme. Fold in crab meat, heat thoroughly.