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Broccoli

Horseradish - Alnda low res

The very nutritious Broccoli is a member of the cabbage and cauliflower family. The word broccoli originates from the Italian plural of ‘broccolo’, ‘the flowering top of a cabbage’. The three main varieties include:

  • Classic ‘Broccoli’ (sometimes called Calabrese broccoli) which has a large 10 to 20 cm green head and thick stalks,
  • Purple cauliflower (it is a broccoli) has a head shaped like cauliflower that has numerous little flower buds. It sometimes (but not always) has a purple cast to the tips of the flower buds, and
  • Sprouting broccoli has a larger number of heads with many thin stalks. Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and kai-lan (Chinese broccoli) developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan in 1993.

Be sure to pick bright green heads of broccoli that have tightly clustered florets. The darker green the better! Broccoli stem and stalk is great steamed and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Add it to Asian-style stir-fries or blanch/steam it and top with a cheese sauce and bake until golden brown. It makes great soup, provides good texture in frittata and is quite tasty raw with dips.

In season (approximately): January to December

Return to Seasonal Produce Guide