Easy Broccoli Recipes
Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables. I'll eat it by itself most of the time, just steamed with a bit of garlic and butter added for flavor. But I love cream of broccoli soup, sweet and sour broccoli salad, and warm casseroles as well.
I'll share a few recipes here that are adaptations of my own and direct you toward some other broccoli recipes as well.
Selecting and Cooking Broccoli
Like almost any vegetable, I prefer fresh broccoli to frozen. I use fresh produce in all of the broccoli recipes that I discuss on this page. I've never grown my own, but I'm sure it would be a good way of getting the freshest and most tender broccoli. Instead I just make sure I select only broccoli that has bright, deep green (tightly closed) flowerets and a tender, firm stalk.
After buying my broccoli I store it in the refrigerator but I cook it within a day or two so that it doesn't get too dry. When it's fresh, it's great even when eaten raw, on a salad, on it's own, or with a dip.
Some people will cook broccoli by covering it with some water in a saucepan, and boiling it on low for 5-10 minutes. Steaming however, will preserve more nutrients and it's my favorite way of preparing broccoli. You simply remove the leaves and heavy stalk, cut it up, rinse it thoroughly in cold water, and cook it in a steamer. This can be done in the microwave, but I prefer doing it on the stovetop where it's easier for me to check on it's progress. Simply put a couple of inches of water in the pan and then place the broccoli filled basket (steamer insert) over the water. I often mince up a large clove of garlic to put in with the broccoli, bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 6-10 minutes until it's tender, crisp. I usually add a bit of butter or margarine before serving.
The important part is to avoid over cooking the broccoli. You can test it while cooking by merely sticking a fork in the remaining stalk, if your fork punctures it, it's done. Once you've done this a couple of times you'll have a better idea of how firm you like it.
I eat this steamed broccoli with garlic most often, but probably my second favorite way to eat it is in a sweet & sour broccoli salad. It's one that I found a few years ago. You can see that recipe here online. If that doesn't hit the mark, I would suggest another favorite a Mango-Broccoli Salad which you can see here.
How to Grow Broccoli
A Warm Broccoli Side Dish Recipe
This is a very simple and quick broccoli side dish. This is one that I adapted long ago and doesn't require a lot of time to prepare. It serves only two to three people, but you can easily increase the quantities to serve a larger group.
4 cups fresh broccoli, cut up
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1/3 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated Swiss Cheese
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Steam broccoli for 5-10 minutes, until firm but tender. Place in bake dish.
In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and orange juice. Spread the mixture over broccoli, then top with cheeses.
Bake for 12 minutes, brown under the broiler for a couple of minutes, then serve.
Nutritional Information on Broccoli
Broccoli, like most fresh vegetables offers alot of beneficial nutrients. It's rich in antioxidants, which are prized for their cancer fighting characteristics. A cup of broccoli has only 31 calories by itself. Of course when preparing casseroles and side dishes you add more calories with the other ingredients.
Broccoli is a particularly good source of Vitamins C and K, as a one cup serving provides more than enough of these vitamins for the day. It's very low in fat and yet provides significant amounts of a number of essential minerals such as calcium and potassium. This page from nutritiondata.com can give you all of the details.
Creamy Broccoli Casserole
If you like creamy casseroles, this one should suit you. It will serve 4 to 6 people.
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestshire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
6 cups fresh broccoli, cut up
3 hard cooked eggs, sliced
3/4 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Steam broccoli for 5 to 8 mintues until tender crisp.
Meanwhile, melt margarine in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute for a few minutes until tender. Reduce heat to low, add flour, cook for 1-2 mintues while stirring. Whisk in milk gradually. Increase heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring constantly until it reaches a boil and thickens. Add salt, white pepper, Worcestshire sauce, and mustard.
Place half of the broccoli in a bake dish and top with half of the egg slices. Pour half of the sauce over the egg, and sprinkle half of the cheese on top. Repeat these layers. Cover the bake dish and bake for 25-30 minutes.