How to Cook Broccoli – Packed with fresh earthy flavor and lots of nutrients, broccoli is a beloved vegetable used in recipes around the world. From tips for picking the best bunch and how to cut and preserve, to delicious ideas for cooking with this wonder veggie, you’re about to learn everything you need to know about broccoli!
How to Choose the Best Broccoli
Like most produce, broccoli is tastiest when it is picked and shipped fresh. Locally-sourced broccoli will have the best freshness and flavor. Although this veggie was originally native to Italy and the Mediterranean, it’s a hearty crop to grow and now is easy to find nearly anywhere in America.
Broccoli is available all year round in most grocery stores, but its peak growing season is fall through early spring. So the fullest florets are usually found anytime from October until April.
When selecting broccoli you want to choose bunches that have sturdy stalks with dense, vibrantly green florets. Try to avoid any bundles that have yellowing.
Tips for How to Cut and Prepare Broccoli
- First, always thoroughly wash broccoli under cool running water.
- Use a sharp knife to carefully separate the head of the broccoli from the stalk, and then cut the individual florets from the stalk. Start with the bottom most florets and work your way up and in, keeping the knife close to the stalk.
- Save the stalk! Broccoli stalks can be peeled and chopped, and are delicious to add extra hearty crunch to recipes. Or, you can even use a spiral slicer to turn the peeled stalk into gluten-free veggie “noodles.”
Keep reading for delicious ideas for how to cook broccoli – stalks and all!
How to Preserve Fresh Broccoli
Ok well before you learn how to cook broccoli, let’s first talk about how to properly treat fresh raw bunches…
After washing and cutting, you can use the broccoli right away for cooking or enjoy raw. If you’re planning to use later, place the florets in a sealed container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Note that unwashed broccoli will keep better for longer in the fridge, so be mindful not to wash and cut the veggie until you are ready to use it within 4-5 days.
For longer storage broccoli can easily be flash frozen in the freezer. Wash and cut into florets, and then place the pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put in the freezer for one hour before transferring to an airtight bag. The frozen raw broccoli can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
In case you’re wondering – no, no you cannot and should not try to can broccoli. The delicate florets don’t hold up well to the intense canning process, and will turn into a mushy mess.
How to Cook Broccoli: Recommend Vegan Broccoli Recipes to Try
Hearty, healthy, and – oh yes – delicious broccoli can be enjoyed in a number of ways. It’s perfect for eating raw as a snack or side with a bowl of hummus, vegan ranch dressing, or your favorite dip.
Broccoli can be easily cooked by:
- Steaming – for a crisp and healthy broccoli
- Roasting – with your favorite cooking oil
- Sautéing – a quick method, also using your favorite cooking oil
But, please, do not boil broccoli. This is not a good veggie for blanching, as the florets will get too soft and icky.
Broccoli Breakfast Recipes
- Add broccoli to a vegan quiche for a special breakfast or brunch!
- You can even chop it up real small and add it to a tofu scramble.
Lunch and Dinner Broccoli Recipes
Crunchy, flavorful broccoli adds great texture and taste to many classic recipes… Include chopped broccoli stalks and florets in your Vegan Ramen in a Mason Jar, add for a healthy and yummy touch to Creamy Vegan Alfredo Sauce with pasta, and use them to make these “Cheesy” Broccoli Vegan Burgers (pictured above).
And, of course, you’ve got to try my Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe or Vegan “Beef” and Broccoli!
Salads and Side Dishes with Broccoli
- A simple side of steamed, sautéed, or roasted broccoli is wonderful to serve along with nearly any main dish.
- Broccoli slaw, shaved broccoli salad, include in your favorite raw salads like our Vegan Hippie Salad + “Cheesy” Cilantro Dressing.
But don’t let the inspiration stop here. Check out even more recipes using broccoli.
What’s your favorite thing about broccoli? Let me know in the comments below!