Yes, in Italian, the word broccolo refers to the flowering top of a cabbage… or so wikipedia tells me.
A few weeks ago we were delighted to hear from our farmer friends at River to River Farm that they would have broccoli! I love broccoli. There was a time in my life where I ate rice and broccoli doused in soy sauce for most meals.
In this post, I’m going to talk about broccoli and then share three simple ways to prepare broccoli.
But first, some information about this wonderful vegetable. Yes, it is a vegetable. Broccoli is high in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Broccoli has some amazing anti-cancer compound in it. However, if you boil the broccoli, the power of the anti-cancer compound is reduced (thank you wikipedia…).
You can eat the whole thing. The stem, the leaves, and the large flower-like head. I typically find the stalk to be pretty tough, but when sliced, it can be quite delicious, too (you can also peel the stalk if you prefer).
Generally I like my broccoli lightly steamed. I take a fork and fork the broccoli before I start cooking it to see how tough it is – then steam it for a few minutes. I’ll fork it again and when my fork easily goes in – then I know it is ready (or just past ready usually…).
Three more recipe ideas:
Rinse the broccoli, cut it into bigger than bite sized pieces, place the broccoli on a roasting pan with olive oil, garlic, and herbs (I like rosemary) – then roast it in the oven for 20-30 min. You should have a pretty well done broccoli head by then. I would typically roast it with many other vegetables – but, just broccoli works too!
Wash, cut up into bite sized pieces and eat. Many folks like to dip their broccoli in various dipping sauces. I personally love having fresh hummus with mine. You can also cut the stalk into matchstick sized slivers & make a broccoli coleslaw.
Wash, cut to bite sized pieces and add to any stir-fry you are doing. Broccoli will want to cook less than a carrot but longer than a bell pepper. Typically for a nice big stir-fry, I would start with oil in a pan, add garlic and onion. Let that go till the onion is translucent. Then I’d add any root vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips…). Let that go for a bit. Now is time for ginger if you are fan – chopped. If you plan on adding a protein now is the time (tofu, turkey chunks, chicken chunks…). Add the ‘medium’ vegetables like broccoli. Add any lighter vegetables like snow peas, peppers, green beans…. From there – I might also add some greens like spinach, kale, or swiss chard. Finally, I’d add some sort of sauce. Usually a simple soy/tamari works – you can spice it up with hot sauce or asian hot sauces. Serve over a bed of rice.
So, that’s some on the broccoli! Who knew it was part of the cabbage family! (other than my smarter half… o well. It is also related to other brassicas such as brussel sprouts.).
How do you like your broccoli?