Even if you pushed broccoli around your plate as a child, you’ve probably discovered that this versatile vegetable tastes great in everything from homemade casseroles to fresh salads. Lightly steamed, sautéed or roasted, or chopped up raw, there are so many ways and reasons to eat broccoli. Here are tips and simple recipes to help you and your family enjoy it more often.
Broccoli puts much more than colour and crunch on your plate. It’s a source of different nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, and fibre. One serving of broccoli is ½ cup (125 mL) or about 5 broccoli florets and contains 54 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, 33 mg of calcium, and about 2 grams of fibre. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that adults eat 7 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables like broccoli every day.
- Look for deep green florets with tight buds, slender, firm stems; rigid stalks; and brittle leaves. The freshest broccoli will still have a moist cut-end too.
- Whether you buy regular broccoli or broccoli crowns depends on the recipe. The stems are just as tasty as the florets, but since the outer layer tends to be tough, peel stems before cooking. If the recipe calls for florets only, buy broccoli crowns and cut them to the size you need.
- Fresh broccoli will keep for 3 to 5 days, stored unwashed in a plastic bag inside the crisper drawer in your fridge.
- Fresh broccoli is available in stores all year but considered to be in season in Canada from July to October. In the freezer department, plain, frozen broccoli crowns are always available.
- Ever heard of broccolini? It’s a hybrid of broccoli and kale with smaller florets, longer thinner stems, and a sweeter, earthier flavour.
- Broccoli is especially good paired with bold flavours that help balance its grassy, peppery notes. Try it roasted with garlic, olive oil, and a dash of fiery spice; puréed into a lemony dip; or doused with sesame oil and tossed into a stir-fry.
- When serving broccoli with a dip, blanch it by boiling for 2 to 3 minutes, then chilling in ice water, for a crisp-tender texture.
- Short on time? Use pre-bagged frozen broccoli for salads, stir-fries, and casseroles. Read the package for cooking instructions.
All the Best Broccoli Recipes
Parmesan & Chili-Roasted Broccoli Crowns: Spice up weeknight dinners or even a dinner party menu with these fiery broccoli crowns.
Broccoli, Ham & Swiss Cheese Quiche: This delectable quiche brings the bistro home. For instant weeknight meals, refrigerate for 3 or 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Broccoli & Cheddar Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing: For convenience, make this potluck favourite a day in advance.
Salmon-Broccoli Gratin: When you need a quick, wholesome dish, this one is a lifesaver. Double the recipe, and you can wrap up leftovers for lunches. It is a complete meal that goes from freezer to oven.
Classic Broccoli Soup: Sprinkled with sharp cheddar, this creamy soup can be enjoyed with a sandwich for a light dinner. To spice it up a bit, add curry paste into the mix.