BROCCOLI

Brassica oleracea

Oh, delicious broccoli!  We love walking through a bed of of ready-to-pick broccoli, our mouths watering, dreaming of how much more crunchy and delicious our salads are about to be.  Broccoli was first cultivated by the ancient Romans and evolved from wild cabbage varieties growing in coastal Europe.  It is packed with vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium, and iron and also contains an enzyme called sulforaphane which is said to fight cancer.  Right before you plan to prepare your fresh broccoli, soak the head upside down in cold, salted water.  Since we do not spray pesticides, there could be some little critters hiding out in the many wonderful places that the floretts provide.  1 tsp salt to 8 cups of water should do the trick.  If you soak your broccoli and then store it, it will become a bit rubbery, so it is best to do this just before eating it.  Eat your brocolli raw in salads or with some dip to recieve the full benefits that this nourishing plant has to offer.  Broccoli stalks can be grated and used instead of cabbage in coleslaw.  Broccoli can keep for over a week, but it is best to use it within a few days.  You can store it in the vegetable bin in your fridge.  If you do wait too long and you find your brocolli limp just cut an inch or so off of the stalk and place it on a tray with a bit of cold water in your refrigerator; the stalk will drink up the water and magically become crunchy again.

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Sonya’s Stir-fried Broccoli

1 head broccoli, chopped (including most of stem)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp pressed garlic
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Place the olive oil in in a warmed up wok or large skillet on medium-high heat.  When oil is hot add the broccoli, ginger, and soy sauce.  Toss to cover the broccoli in oil and soy sauce.  Cover for a minute or two to cook broccoli slightly, stirring occasionally.  Uncover and add the garlic and sesame seeds.  Continue to cook while tossing for another minute or so.  Turn off burner and remove from heat.  After broccoli has cooled slightly, drizzle the sesame oil on top.  Serve immediately.

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Pasta with Broccoli Florets
From From Asparagus to Zucchini

Florets cut from 1 head of broccoli
1/2 lb pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb mushrooms (whole, halved, or sliced)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cook broccoli florets in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  Remove with slotted spoon.  Cook pasta in same water (or fresh).  Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in skillet.  Saute garlic and mushrooms 3-4 minutes.  Stir in broccoli.  Drain pasta.  Toss with broccoli mixture and cheese.  Makes 2-4 servings.

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