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Broccoli

Take a fresh look at this super food

Cut & clean
Place broccoli in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cool running water. Unless stalks are especially tender, cut off the thick base and peel them. Cut heads into florets.

Skip the heat
Raw broccoli is great tossed in salads or in veggie platters with dips.

Power food
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins C and A, and a good source of folic acid.

For your next salad...
Blanch broccoli in boiling water for two minutes, then drain and rinse immediately with cold water to capture the color and develop great flavor.


Also indexed as: Broccolini

Preparation, uses, and tips

Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked. Place it in a colander and rinse it thoroughly before preparing. Unless the stalks are especially tender, cut off the thick base of the stalks and peel them. Cut the head into florets. Raw broccoli can be used for crudités served with dips, or can be added to salads. When adding broccoli to cold grain salads, blanch it first by boiling for just two minutes. Then drain and rinse immediately with cold water. This brightens the color of the broccoli and develops the flavor.

To cook broccoli, first cut into bite-sized pieces.

To boil

Boil broccoli in lightly salted water until just tender crisp, about four minutes.

To steam

Steam pieces about five minutes and whole stalks of broccoli for about ten minutes, until tender-crisp.

To sauté

Sauté in olive oil with garlic and herbs until tender-crisp, about ten minutes. Sautéed broccoli can be tossed with cooked pasta and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

To microwave

Cook on High for five minutes; then let stand for three minutes before serving.

Flavors that go well with broccoli are basil, caraway seed, curry powder, dill, fresh lemon juice, herb-infused vinegar, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, and thyme.

Buying and storing tips

Broccoli is available year-round but is a cool-weather vegetable that is best between January and March. Broccoli should have a fresh smell, a bright green color, and firm, tender stalks. Avoid broccoli with yellowing leaves or flower buds, limp stalks or wilting heads, a pungent odor, or stalks that are thick and woody. Store broccoli unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper. It should be used within a few days of purchase.

Varieties

Only one type of broccoli is generally found in markets, but a few close relatives of this vegetable are also available. Broccoli rabe has thinner stalks and is leafier, with smaller bunches of buds. It has a stronger, more bitter flavor, and all of the plant, including its leaves, is edible. Broccolini is a new vegetable that looks just like regular broccoli except that the stalks are delicate, with thin stems; the flower buds are also smaller.

Broccoli is available frozen and is sometimes included in frozen vegetable mixes.

Nutrition Highlights

Broccoli (raw), 1 cup (133g)
Calories: 25
Protein: 2.6g
Carbohydrate: 4.6g
Total Fat: 0.31g
Fiber: 2.6g
*Excellent source of: Vitamin C (82mg), and Vitamin A (1,357 IU)
*Good source of: Folate (62.5mcg)

*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.

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