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Broccoli Storage and Selection

Do not store fresh broccoli in an airtight bag

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Stir-friend broccoli
Brian Yarvin/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Broccoli Cooking Tips

• Broccoli is best when quickly steamed or stir-fried. Overcooking enhances its strong flavor and aroma, dulls the color, and leaches out nutrients. It should be cooked a minimum amount of time until tender, but still crisp.

• If you plan on using the stalks and florets in the same dish, begin cooking the stalks 1 to 2 minutes before adding the florets. The stalks take longer to cook.

• Most cooks prefer to peel away the tough exterior of larger stalks over 1 inch in diameter.

• To cook broccoli florets, trim them to uniform size to promote even cooking.

• Although raw broccoli is often served as crudites with dip, a quick blanching will both tenderize and reduce the strong flavor.

• About 7 minutes is optimum steaming time for broccoli. Remove the lid several times during steaming to release steam which helps the broccoli retain its bright green color.

• Do not wash broccoli until just before you prepare it.

• Broccoli, broccolini, broccoflower, and cauliflower may be used interchangeably in many recipes.

• Lemon juice and mustard seeds can liven up cooked broccoli. Do not add acid until the cooking is complete.

• If you only need the florets for a dish, do not toss the stems. Peel, blanch for two minutes, and freeze up to three months for use in soups and stews.

More About Broccoli and Broccoli Recipes:

Broccoli Cooking Tips
Broccoli Selection and Storage
Broccoli Measures, Weights, Substitutions, and Equivalents
Broccoli History
Broccoli Recipes
Broccoli Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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