Washing and Cutting Broccoli
Rinse broccoli thoroughly under cold running water to remove surface dirt and debris.
If dirt is embedded in florets, soak them in cold water for several minutes. Drain.
Cut off and discard the tough and inedible bottom of the main stalk (About 2 inches from the bottom). Trim away any small branches.
Separate the stem from the florets at the point where the florets branch out. Cut the top portion into florets.
The stalks need not be peeled but if you must then remove a very thin layer to preserve the nutrients.
Cut the main stalk into coins or into juliennes. Either split the smaller stalks halfway at the bottom or cut them into smaller pieces..
The leaves attached to the head are perfectly edible and contain more beta carotene than the florets. You can cook them together with the florets or use them in stir fries, soups, salads and purees
Tips on Cooking Broccoli
Fresh young broccoli can be served raw in salads and as Hors d’oeuvre. You can also blanch them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes then shock them in very cold water to stop the cooking process.
Cook broccoli until just tender but still crisp and bright in colour. Never overcook broccoli otherwise it will have an unpleasant odour from the sulphur containing compounds found in cruciferous veggies.
Steaming, microwaving or stir-frying preserves the most nutrients.
What to do with broccoli stalks
Don’t throw out those delicious broccoli stalks. Here is three options on how to cook them because florets cook faster than stalks.
Option 1: split the stalks halfway at the bottom and cook them with whole florets.
Option 2: cut off florets, cook stalks 2-3 minutes then add the florets
Option 3: cut both stalks and florets into similar size for even cooking.