Boil it, steam it, and stick it in a stew- no I am not talking about po –tay- toes like Sam from the Lord of the Rings- but the many uses for Broccoli.
You only have to google broccoli to get a plethora of information about the nutritional benefits of eating Broccoli. It is often held up as one of the “Super Foods” for health and wellbeing having high levels of vitamin C, dietary fibre and having anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Many articles report its proposed ability to prevent or fight cancer.
Most people that would agree that broccoli is good for you, especially if it is organically grown then eaten within minutes of being picked.
So if you take into account how good it is for you and the fact that with a bit of practice you will master the art of growing broccoli very quickly, you will soon be looking for a variety of ways to eat your crop so you can have it in your diet regularly and not get bored with it or have the kids going “oh no, not broccoli again”.
Here are a few of my favourite ways to use broccoli every day.
1. Steamed as a vegetable to accompany just about anything, like stews or roasts.
2. Stir fry– cut a variety a vegetables into a similar size, heat a wok or frying pan, add some oil and crushed garlic and onion fry for a few minutes add rest of your vegetables and fry for another few minutes until the vegetables are cooked to the crispness you like . A stir fry sauce can be added but tasty without it.
3. Salads – my favourite from “The River Cottage Veg Everyday” cookbook’s Broccoli salad with Asian dressing
4. Stephanie Alexanders Kitchen garden companion’s Chickpea salad with broccoli and goats cheese
5. Chicken and vegetable soup – this is a recipe I will post later, as it is my families favourite!
7. And the fabulous Broccoli and Cauliflower gratin
8. In Pasta – try the woman’s weekly Vegie starters Broccoli and Garlic breadcrumb spaghetti
How to preserve Broccoli when you have too much:
Whilst freezing does not give as good a product as fresh, it is an effective way of preserving your crop to be used in soups, stews and gratins.
9. Freezing Cubes: Steam your broccoli for about 3 minutes, or until al-dente. Blend your broccoli in a mixer until smooth, and pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze for 24 hours and use as a soup base. Use within 6 months.
10. How to Freeze Broccoli Pieces: cut broccoli head into bit size portions, blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and place into iced cold water for 2 minutes, drain and dry, spread on a tray in a single layer, cover with cling wrap and freeze. After 24hrs remove from the freezer, place all portions into a zip lock bag and replace in freezer. This way you can remove exactly the amount you need and refreeze the rest. Use within three months.
The list of ways to use this fabulous healthy vegetable are endless so have a go a growing some and then find interesting ways to use it.
For more information on starting your productive backyard, check out the website