Brocolli is considered a superfood as it contains vitamins A and C, folic acid, fiber, and calcium. Like any other food, it can be really tasty when cooked properly, but eating it can become very dull if you just boil it and throw it on a plate. Happily, food is not medicine, so it can be healthy and taste great simultaneously!
Best methods to cook broccoli
Choosing and preparing broccoli
Fresh, good-quality broccoli is dark green (not yellow!), with compact florets, and the stalks are not woody. Broccoli can be safely stored in the refrigerator, but only for a few days. You should wash broccoli right before cooking it and peel the exterior layer of the stems.
Ways to cook broccoli
To preserve the nutritional value of broccoli, it’s best to steam it or boil it no longer than 5 minutes. You can make a couple of cuts through the stems before cooking to ensure they cook just as fast as the florets.
Adding flavor to steamed or boiled broccoli is easy. You can add in any combination you like: garlic, fresh herbs such as oregano, parsley, rosemary, a bit of butter or olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, cheese, and even throw in some finely chopped chili peppers to add some heat.
Sautéing broccoli is also very easy, and it’s done in less than ten minutes. You can mix broccoli with other vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, onions, green peas, and lean meat, and season it with your favorite herbs and spices. Add some vegetable or chicken broth and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Broccoli is a tasteful addition to any stir-fry dish and can also be stir-fried on its own. Since the stems are more rigid, you should separate them from the florets and cut them into slices to make sure they are well-cooked during the stir-fry process. Begin by pouring a small amount of cooking oil into a well-heated wok. Add garlic, ginger (if such is the case) and dry seasonings and stir for a minute. Continue by adding meats (if the dish requires it) and only when the meat is seared add vegetables and broccoli.
The flavor of any broccoli stir-fry dish can be enhanced by liquid ingredients such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, chicken/vegetable stock, wine, and vinegar. For a glossy, smooth sauce, you can also add a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch. Just don’t forget: throughout the entire cooking process, you have to stir the food constantly.
Broccoli gets a whole new attitude when roasted. You can roast broccoli by itself or combine it with other tasty vegetables. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Spread broccoli and the other vegetables evenly in a single layer in the roasting pan. To make sure that the result is not too dry, you can add a liquid ingredient, such as soup, wine, soy sauce, or fresh cream, or simply drizzle a few drops of olive oil or any other cooking oil on top. A good addition would be any melting cheese. You can season roasted broccoli with salt and pepper and other spices and herbs you like. Roast the broccoli for 15-20 minutes or until the top becomes brown.
Creamy broccoli soup is a very light, yet tasty dish and can include a variety of ingredients. Here are the basic ones: one chopped onion, one chopped garlic clove, one stalk of celery (chopped), three cups of fresh broccoli, and chicken broth. The soup’s creamy texture can be acquired by adding either 1 cup of milk and 2-3 tablespoons of flour or 3 chopped potatoes.
Sauté chopped onions, garlic, and celery in 2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil. Add the broccoli, potatoes, and chicken broth until all the ingredients are covered. Simmer for 15 minutes or until everything is cooked. If you want to use milk and flour instead of potatoes, place the flour in a bowl and add milk slowly while stirring. When the mixture is smooth, pour it into the soup and let it simmer for another 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Puree the soup using a blender (any blender) and add salt and pepper to taste.
That’s basically it. Brocolli is a very tasty addition to any dish, and as you can see, it’s one of the best vegetables that you can eat, nutrition-wise.