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Fruit and Vegetable Guide

Photo of Broccoli


Spring, Summer, Autumn

Description: Broccoli grows in thick green stalks topped with umbrella-shaped clusters of dark green florets.

Selection: Look for firm stalks and tightly closed florets. Florets should be blue-green or purplish-green; yellow-green broccoli is older and likely to have a strong flavor and odor. Very wide stems may be too woody to eat.

Storage and handling: Refrigerate in a loosely sealed plastic bag for up to 3 days. When ready to cook, separate stalks from florets. Trim ends and peel stems with paring knife, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Wash thoroughly.

Preparation: Steam in basket over water by covering and cooking 7 minutes, depending on size and age. Microwave bite-size pieces in a covered dish with small amount of water, 5-7 minutes. To avoid loss of the bright green color do not cook broccoli for longer than 7 minutes.

Serving suggestions: Use raw broccoli florets in salads (SIS, p. 192) or for dipping. Peeled raw broccoli stems can be sliced and used in place of water chestnuts in recipes. Dress steamed broccoli with vinaigrette, lemon butter, olive oil, garlic, toasted nuts, or cheese.

Nutrients: Vitamins A, C, K, folate; cancer-preventing compounds sulforaphane, isothiocyanate and indoles; fiber.

1 lb raw = 5 cups
1 lb cooked = 2 cups

The Fruit and Vegetable Guide is reproduced here with permission of Herald Press, publisher of Simply in Season.

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