Broccoli Class 1 - Spain £0.99 Alton United Kingdom Www.getfreshandfruity.co.uk

Broccoli

Class 1 - Spain

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Broccoli

Pronounce it: brok-o-lee

Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name, calebrese. It has tight clusters of deep green buds and thick, edible stems and was developed from the more loosely packed purple sprouting broccoli. There's little to choose between the two in terms of flavour or nutrition.

Availability

All year round, but at its best from the end of July to the end of October.

Choose the best

Go for firm, bright green, undamaged heads (if it's yellow its already past its peak) and firm stalks. As broccoli deteriorates faster when in contact with the air, supermarkets often wrap it in cellophane - always choose the unwrapped type if you can as, if it still looks good, you can be sure that it has been recently picked.

Prepare it

Trim any woody stem ends or tough leaves with a knife. Divide into small, individual florets, each with a short stem, and diagonally slice the thicker stems. Rinse under cold water. Broccoli boils or steams in 3-6 minutes, depending on the size of floret. In stir-fries, cook it for a couple of minutes, until tender.

Store it

In an airtight bag in the fridge.

Cook it

Cook and drizzle with olive oil or melted butter or a handful of grated parmesan; add to a cheesy pasta bake; stir-fry in groundnut oil with chopped garlic and dry fried cashews, adding a drizzle of sesame oil to the pan just before cooking ends.

Broccoli recipes

Broccoli is a green vegetable from the cabbage family. It is generally sold in heads, which have multiple florets branching off a central stem, and sometimes have leaves still attached (these are also edible, but usually discarded). Packed with nutrients, it is best briefly steamed, stir-fried, or eaten raw.

Buyer's guide

The most common variety of broccoli is calabrese, which is available all year round. Long-stemmed sprouting which may be either green or purple, is in season during the spring, and Romanesco, which is pale-green in colour, and closely related to the cauliflower, appears in the autumn. Look for tightly packed, dark-green or purple heads with no signs of yellowing or Flowers, and firm stems.

Storage

Fresh broc should be refrigerated in breathable wrapping, and consumed within 2-3 days of purchase. To freeze it, steam or blanch it to your taste, cool in iced water, drain, and freeze in a sealed container for up to 12 months.

Broccoli Article by Felicity Cloake


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