Broccoli, cooked right, just has to be one of the most marvelous veggies there it – cooked wrong it becomes soggy, strong in flavor and gets pushed around the plate before it ends up down the disposal. I’ve shown my son and his girlfriend more than a few times, but I thought I should detail my easy method, here. It comes out perfectly every time.
Broccoli’s a vegetable I take a bit of care with, yet even so, it’s just as quick to make if from fresh as it is to buy it frozen and toss it in the microwave. And it’s so much better than any frozen broccoli you’ll eat. Even better, unless you’re getting your frozen broccoli dirt cheap with a coupon, fresh beats frozen in price every time. Frankly it’s a myth that most frozen vegetables are cheaper than fresh.
I properly prep it, shaving the outer edge of the stems which takes like two seconds. Trust me on this – the stalks are better than the florets! Then I slice the stem off, remove the florets and with the point of my knife separate them, ever so carefully, leaving them as intact as possible, and about the same size. Any long, errant pieces of stems on the florets get sliced a bit more.
A simple raft of the stems at the bottom of the saucepan supports the tender florets as they steam together. Easy, peasy!
And of course, I don’t waste those stem peelings. They go right into my morning green smoothies, my Big, Fat, Green Smoothies on a Budget.
Simple Steamed Broccoli
- 1 bunch of broccoli
- salt to taste
- butter, if desired
Prepare broccoli by shaving out the outer edges of the stalk. Cut stalk on diagonal into pieces about 3/8ths of an inch thick, discarding the very bottom slice of stem if it is hardened and dry. Keep stems separate from the florets.
Separate florets, not by cutting through them, but by inserting the point of the knife into the inner structure of the floret where the stalks break into little stems. Slice those apart and the floret will naturally separate and lose very little of the floret pieces. Try to keep florets about the same size and if there is any long stem attached to the florets, slice them 3/8ths of an inch thick and add to the stem pile.
Place stems in the bottom of a saucepan, add about an inch of water. Put the florets on top. Salt if desired. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer four to eight minutes, to desired tenderness. Remove lid and drain. Shock in cold water, if you wish, to stop the cooking process and preserve bright color. Add back to warm saucepan, place a pat of butter on top. Cover to keep warm until serving. When ready to serve, lightly toss to distribute butter.
Left Over Broccoli: If you feel your left over broccoli won’t get eaten, put it in a large freezer bag and toss it in the freezer. Add to it over time, perhaps adding other vegetables, until you have enough to make a quick Cream of Broccoli or Cream of Vegetable Soup. Broccoli and Cauliflower are good combinations, but Carrot goes well, too, with both vegetables.
Two of my favorite Cream of Broccoli Soups:
- Cream of Broccoli Soup – basic, super healthy & versatile
- Russell’s Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Crust – utterly fantastic and a bit decadent
A quick note about frozen broccoli – when I was testing the cost effectiveness of fresh vs. frozen, I found that frozen broccoli was 10 ounces of broccoli and six ounces of water. Wow!