18 August 2009

Superstar superveg

One of my favourite vegetables is broccoli. Its supervegetable health-promoting qualities are well-known* and it is one of the limited list of vegetables that are enjoyed by everyone in our household.

But mostly I like broccoli because it is so well-behaved. It grows well, regardless of whether there is too much water (as happened here last year), or too little (this year) and once the main head is picked, it obligingly sends up side shoots after side shoots until the cold weather finally kills it off. I can't help but compare it unfavourably to its relative, the cauliflower, which acts like a spoiled celebrity diva: demanding just the right amount of water, having to be picked at just the right moment and refusing to put in any overtime to produce extra florets after the main event.

It is important to soak broccoli florets in salted water after you pick them, if you grow organically. This removes any little bugs and caterpillars that might otherwise provide you with an unwelcome extra portion of protein in your meal. Five to ten minutes or so seems to do the trick.

Broccoli also freezes well, should you find that you've got a little too much to eat all at once. This situation does arise occasionally in my life. I boil it in water for a couple of minutes, then plunge it into iced cold water and bag it up.

*This is a link to a cosmetic surgery site which (for some strange reason) has articles on nutrition. Please don't take this as an endorsement for cosmetic surgery, of which I generally disapprove.**

**Although since I once had laser surgery on my eyes to correct my short/near-sightedness, that probably makes me an enormous hypocrite.


Anonymous said...

I adore broccoli, it is by far my favorite vegetable. I got quite a good crop last winter of mainly small florets, but they had a great flavor.

Blue Fox said...

Amanda, I don't feel that laser surgery to correct a vision problem is in the same category as cosmetic surgery! I would hate to not be able to see my broccoli well enought to pick off the bugs...lovely crop, by the way.

Anonymous said...

I like to dip the little parboiled florets in cheese dip.

Kiyi Kiyi said...

I started harvesting the leaves on my broccoli (to feed my chickens) and each plant produced 3 crops this year.
And they were all BIG heads!
I don't know why it worked, but I'll be doing it again next year!