January is the perfect time to go bonkers for broccoli! Unlike some other favorite veggies, broccoli is readily available this time of year and this versatile family-friendly veggie brings nutrition to the table, in the form of vitamins C, K and A. It’s also a good source of folate, B6 and manganese. And you can’t go wrong with a vegetable that kids like to eat because it looks like little trees.
When buying broccoli, make sure the head has tight, deep green florets and firm stalks. While most recipes call for just the florets, the stem is edible as well and shouldn’t go to waste. You can simply dice the stem or cut into matchstick-size pieces, depending on your recipe. Choose broccoli with stems that are about an inch in diameter. Larger stems are edible too, just make sure to peel so they will be more tender and to reduce cooking time.
Need some inspiration? Try broccoli like this:
1. Steam broccoli florets and sliced stems until just tender. Toss with grated lemon zest, rice vinegar and toasted sesame seeds. Or top with toasted whole wheat bread crumbs, chopped parsley and grated orange zest. Or drizzle with Tahini Miso Sauce
2. Chop a head of broccoli and add to a large pot of penne pasta in boiling water 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked. Drain and toss with chopped roasted red peppers, olives and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
3. Roast it. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 450°F oven, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned. Add to salads, pasta dishes and whole grains, or serve as a side dish.
4. If you have stems leftover from another recipe, make a quick broccoli slaw by tossing thinly sliced stems with shredded carrots, lime juice, chopped cilantro and a pinch of sea salt for a quick broccoli slaw.
5. Puree steamed broccoli florets with toasted pine nuts, garlic and vegetable broth to make a dairy-free, lower-fat pesto.
6. Add extra crunch to your go-to pasta or potato salad recipe by stirring in chopped raw broccoli florets. Here’s one of our favorites
7. Make your favorite quinoa recipe and add 2 cups of small broccoli florets to the pan about 10 minutes before the quinoa is done. Cover the pan and the broccoli will steam as the quinoa finishes cooking. Try Zesty Quinoa with Broccoli and Cashews
, a favorite on our website.
8. Cut a head of broccoli into small florets and drop into boiling water for 1 minute, then drain. Top a whole-wheat pizza crust with the parboiled broccoli, caramelized onions, chopped tomatoes and shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese or vegan cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and crust is crisp and heated through.
9. Stir-fry! Add florets and thinly sliced stalks to your favorite stir-fry. Try chicken, broccoli and shredded carrots with reduced-sodium tamari, minced garlic and ginger and serve over brown rice noodles or whole-wheat linguine for a quick weeknight meal.
10. Make a pureed broccoli soup. Sauté chopped onion, garlic with chopped broccoli florets and stems from one head of broccoli. Add vegetable broth and a peeled, cubed potato and simmer until veggies are tender. Puree in a blender, adding more broth to adjust consistency if necessary.
Check out more than 50 tasty broccoli recipe ideas
on our site.
What’s your favorite way to eat broccoli?