Broccoli is a superfood. Not only is it delicious (stay with me here), but it is FANTASTIC for you. It is incredibly high in vitamins C and K, which aid in vitamin D metabolism, as well as a good source of folate and fiber. It is a cruciferous veggie, which is great for your liver and digestive health. It has also been known to aid in lowering cholesterol as the fiber binds with bile to help remove it from the body
Now enough of that, it is also tasty! I know, I know, broccoli is one of those foods that people love to hate. Seriously, though, it was probably from a bad experience of over-cooked broccoli. I present exhibit A:
Notice the gross, dull, brownish-green colour. The stalk is limp and mushy, as is the cluster of nubbles (not a technical term) on top. It smells sulfurous and bitter. It will actually smell worse if refrigerated for a few days. Don’t do this to your broccoli. It gets angry. And you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry…
Anyway, some of the best ways of eating broccoli is to simply steam it until slightly tender. The colour actually intensifies and turns a lovely, vibrant, bright grass green. If cutting into small pieces, peel the fibrous skin off the stems and cut into coins on a bias. This will help it cook at the same time as the florets. I like to drizzle a little soy sauce and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Yummy.
Another favourite way to enjoy broccoli is to roast it. Cut the stems into long, thin pieces. I tend to cut a floret into two or three pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. You can add some garlic if you wish. Then roast in a hot oven for about 15 minutes. Toss it half-way through. Don’t overcook it. This results in a different texture for the florets, they get softer but have a crisp texture, as well. It’s easy and tasty.
You can also top broccoli with cheese sauce (yummmm) or bake it into a gratin. It’s delicious with a little bechamel, Gruyère cheese and bread crumbs. Actually, pretty much everything is delicious with bechamel, Gruyère cheese and bread crumbs.
Broccoli is also great raw in slaws and salads. It pairs well with a warm bacon vinaigrette, onions and toasted pine nuts. You can also shred it with some raisins and a creamy dressing, as well.
Experiment with broccoli! It’s not only plentiful this time of year, but it’s also tastier when it gets cooler. Look for tight florets, crisp small leaves, a firm stem that is not spongy, and a dark hunter green colour. Buy some broccoli and enjoy it! When cooked correctly, you don’t have to bribe kids or your spouse to eat it!