Preparing Broccoli: How to Do It Right?

Broccoli is healthy and easy to prepare whether you want to boil, steam, fry, or bake it. The digestible cabbage with the green florets is also a treat raw.

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica) is a tasty, easily digestible member of the cabbage family and a veritable superfood. The vegetables contain hardly any carbohydrates or calories, but a lot of valuable ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and folic acid. The high content of vitamin C and dietary fiber is particularly noteworthy. Broccoli is therefore healthy, also stimulates digestion, fills the stomach, and fills you up quickly, but also for a long time. In addition, the delicious vegetables ensure a healthy intestinal flora and a lower blood sugar level.

With its mostly dark green to blue-green dense flower head on the strong stalk, it looks like a tree. The individual florets also resemble small trees and are a real eye-catcher on the plate. In addition, broccoli can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether tossed in butter, made into a creamy soup, gratinated with cheese, served as a crunchy raw vegetable dish, or a simple vegetable side dish with fish and meat: With the countless possible uses and diverse recipes, there is definitely something for every taste. And best of all, preparing broccoli is really quick.

Prepare broccoli: the most important things in brief

To prepare it, wash broccoli, and remove the leaves and the lower, mostly woody end of the stalk. The flower head is then separated from the stalk and divided into florets of the same size. The stalk is also safe to eat. You should peel off the somewhat harder, partly fibrous skin to get to the more tender core. You either grate it or cut it into cubes or slices. The preparation options are diverse. Steaming in steam or briefly boiling in salt water is particularly gentle.

Prepare broccoli: The preparation

Before you cook or otherwise prepare broccoli, you should wash the vegetable under water and remove the leaves and the lower, usually woody end of the stalk. This is also edible and tasty on top of that, simply throwing it in the organic waste would be a shame and pure waste. Instead, you peel off the somewhat harder, partly woody skin with a vegetable peeler and cut the stalk into uniform cubes or slices. Then you also divide the flower head into florets of the same size, so that they later cook evenly.

How long does broccoli take to cook?

Cooking time for broccoli will vary depending on how you prepare it, the size of the florets, and your own preferences. If you like it really crunchy for recipes, for example, it is best to leave the vegetables raw or at most blanch them. For a bit of crunch, broccoli shouldn’t sit in the pot or pan for more than five minutes, while soups and casseroles take significantly longer to cook.

How to cook broccoli

Boil broccoli

For this quick and easy method of preparation, bring a pot of water to a boil and add a good pinch of salt or vegetable broth. First, the finely chopped stalk comes into the boiling water, after a minute the florets follow for another four to five minutes. Pour the cooked broccoli through a sieve, hold it under very cold water and drain thoroughly. Blanching broccoli retains its bite and rich green color. If you cook broccoli, you can use it for stir-fries and salads, for example, or serve it straight away with a pinch of pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and butter flakes, or a little olive oil.

Tip: If you don’t want to blanch, you can add a dash of lemon juice to the cooking water instead to preserve the color of the broccoli.

Stew broccoli

When you steam broccoli, most of its healthy components, especially vitamins, are retained. To do this, heat some olive oil in the pan and briefly sauté the prepared cabbage. Half covered with water, let the broccoli simmer gently for about eight minutes with the lid closed. Important: The lid should remain closed so that the hot steam does not escape and the vegetables cook gently inside.

Bake broccoli in the oven

Fine roasted aromas give broccoli a delicate note. To do this, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius for a fan oven) and marinate the florets in the meantime with olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you would like it to be even more flavorful for recipes, you can add other spices such as nutmeg, paprika powder, curry, or chili flakes. Spread the broccoli on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for about 25 minutes.

Recipe tip: Fresh yogurt-based dips taste particularly good with roasted broccoli. Try a Greek yogurt dip with a pinch of salt and mint or lemon zest.

Fry broccoli

If you want to fry broccoli in a pan, you should prepare small florets that cook faster and more evenly. Fry them vigorously in hot oil for about eight to ten minutes, turning them occasionally. Before serving, simply season them with salt and pepper or refine them with Asian flavors and spice sauces.


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