Just out of the garden, I soak broccoli for about 10 minutes in salty water. This ensures any tiny bugs still hiding out will be dispatched. Then I rinse each flower head under cold running water.
You’ll want to cut away the tough lower stalk leaving just 3 inches or so below the base of the flower tops. Next cut the florets apart so that they are about equal size.
Marinate raw broccoli florets in a casserole with a vinaigrette dressing or a little olive oil; you can add a tad of minced garlic just before serving.
Also serve raw broccoli with lemon and butter or Hollandaise sauce, grated or melted cheese, sour cream or plain yogurt. Match broccoli florets with equal bites of cauliflower, carrots, pimiento, mushroom, or green onions.
Quick Cook Broccoli
Steam flower heads or florets in about an inch of water; remove the cover from time to time to let the steam escape. (This will keep the broccoli green.) Test with a fork in about 15 minutes. Never cook broccoli past the point where it is just tender or “al dente.”
(Again before cooking, rinse the florets thoroughly in cool water and cut away any woody portions of the stalk end. Use a sharp knife to divide thick stems into quarters by cutting two slits from the bottom up almost to where the head forms. This ensures that stalks cook through by the time the more delicate florets do.)
- Simmer broccoli 5 to 15 minutes for large pieces, 3 to 8 minutes for smaller or quartered florets.
- Sauté small florets or quarters for 5 minutes or until tender.
- Pan-fry florets in a wet batter until the crust is golden brown.
Season florets with salt, pepper, caraway seed, dill, mustard, or tarragon
One cooked flower head and stalk will give you one-and-a-half times the vitamin C you needed each day, half the vitamin A, and significant amounts of riboflavin, iron, calcium, and potassium. One stalk equals about 32 calories.