Broccoli provides a range of tastes and textures, from soft and flowery (the floret) to fibrous and crunchy (the stem and stalk). From salads, pasta dishes, omelettes, quiches and soups to simple accompaniments, broccoli has got to be one of the most versatile vegetables.
Storage: Broccoli is very perishable and should be stored in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep for up to a week. Do not wash the broccoli before refrigerating. Broccoli can be blanched then frozen and it can keep for up to a year. Leftover cooked broccoli should be placed in tightly covered container and stored in the refrigerator where it will keep for a few days.
General Use: Trim the stalks and divide the heads into evenly sized portions. You can eat the stalks - simply leave them attached to the florets. Alternatively the stalks can be removed and cooked separately, slice them finely and use them in stir-fries and soups. Broccoli is usually eaten cooked – however, the key is to avoid prolonged cooking!
Steamed: Remove the stalks and chop into bite size pieces. If the individual florets are fairly large slice in half lengthwise. Steam the broccoli stalks for 4-5 minutes. Add floret pieces, cover, and steam for an additional 5 minutes or until pieces are tender-crisp.
Blanched: Simply place broccoli in boiling water for 1–2 minutes, drain and cool under cold running water. Blanching improves taste, colour and texture and maintains nutritional value.
Stir Fried: Cut a combination of broccoli, celery, mushrooms, red and green peppers, onions and carrots into bite size pieces. In a wok sauté sliced garlic and onions. Add the vegetables starting with the baby carrots and finishing with broccoli. Do not overcook. Add sea salt, pepper and soy sauce, mix well for a couple of minutes to combine.
Sautéed: Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces and sauté with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes for 5 minutes.
Roasted: Preheat oven to 220°C. Put olive oil, garlic, chili powder and seasoning into a large bowl and add the broccoli. Toss to coat evenly. Put the broccoli onto a baking sheet. Roast the broccoli until ends are crisp and brown and stalks are tender (15-20 minutes).