Broccoli is a tasty and healthy vegetable. You can cook it a lot of ways. It can also make a bunch of recipes truly delightful. The secret is in cooking your broccoli right. But more than that, there are also other factors you may want to take into consideration.
Know your Broccoli
Broccoli comes in a floret with usually a longer stalk than the cauliflower. If fresh, its color is bright dark green. The florets are firm and bunched well together. The stalk can be used in recipes, too, not just the florets. Both make nice additions to salads, stews, soups, stir-fries, and other dishes.
It is common for a variety of recipes to call for broccoli florets as they do not only make a flavorful addition. They are also used to decorate the dishes.
Broccoli is very good because it has anti-cancer properties. It is enriched with dietary fibers and protein along with a variety of other nutrients.
Broccoli came from a family of wild cabbage. It has been known to exist for over two thousand years. It has been widely used not just for its aesthetic appeal but also because it appeals to the taste buds.
It is important to pick the freshest broccoli to cook. Make sure that when you pick up broccoli in your local market, you pick those in bright dark green color with a tint of purple on the edge. The florets should be firm. If they look wilted or yellowish-green, or enlarged, they are not fresh.
You can store your fresh broccoli in the fridge for up to three days only. Anything more than that will make your vegetable lose its important nutrients.
Wash your broccoli thoroughly before preparing it. You may use salt-and-water or vinegar-and-water solution to ensure that no insect is lodging within the florets. Soak your broccoli for a couple of minutes, then rinse.
After washing, you may slice the florets and the stalks. Slice the florets according to the size that is being called for in your recipe. If you are using the stalk, make sure to peel off the tough outer layer before slicing it in the right sizes.
How to Boil Broccoli
Learning how to boil broccoli is understandably the easiest and simplest way of preparing a good meal out of this vegetable. Here is a guideline:
Step 1: Put some water and salt in a saucepan. Make sure that the water is enough to cover the amount of broccoli you are boiling at the same time.
Step 2: Bring the water to a boil.
Step 3: When the water starts to boil, you may add in the broccoli stalks. Cook this for two minutes before adding the florets and wait for another four to five minutes. The broccoli stalks cook longer that’s why you will add them first.
Step 4: After five minutes since you have immersed the broccoli florets in boiling water, you must remove it from heat and submerge in a bowl of cold water. This should help stop the cooking process and preserve the bright green color of your broccoli along with its crisp texture.
Step 5: Stopping the cooking process immediately is important. That’s because you will definitely not like the taste and texture of overcooked broccoli. It will break apart, lose its attractive color, and more importantly, lose its nutrients.
There are a handful of broccoli recipes that you my try. The beautiful florets make nice addition to salads. They will also make your stews taste and look better. You will be able to make a variety of delectable side dishes out of it. To ensure that you will hit the jackpot with broccoli, make sure to follow the following tips:
Tip #1: Broccoli can be cooked many ways. You may boil it, steam it, stir-dry it, bake it in the oven, or cook it in the microwave. However, boiling is the most basic and the most common cooking method used to it. Boiling broccoli will allow you to make it available for many other dishes. You can even eat it as is.
Tip #2: Remember to remove any wilted or damaged leaves as you wash up your broccoli.
Tip #3: You cannot use the entire stalk. Just cut up from three inches beyond the florets. Anything beyond would be very tough.
Tip #4: Cut up your broccoli florets with a little of the stalk on. If the florets’ size is bigger than what is required in your recipe, you may slice the florets lengthwise to create smaller pieces.
Tip #5: If you are using your broccoli in salads, it is better that you blanch it rather than boil. Blanching for about two minutes will help bring out the bright color and the tasty flavor of the vegetable.
Tip #6: You may enhance the flavor of your boiled broccoli by adding spices and seasoning to the boiling water. You may add flavored vinegar or lemon and any of the available herbs in your cupboard.