21/07/2012 10:20

Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, also known as brassicas. This group includes sprouts, cauliflower, cabbages and many more.
Broccoli is also known as Italian green, or Calabrese, named after the Italian province of Calabria where it first grew. The history of broccoli is far and long. A native of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor especially Italy. Broccoli was introduced in England in 1720 and was not known as broccoli, but Italian asparagus. The vegetable did not become known in the United States until the early 1920s.

Broccoli heads are very similar to cauliflower heads, except they are green instead of white. The heads, or florets, are made up of tightly packed flower buds, grouped together like trees on a stalk. The word Broccoli comes from the Italian word ‘brocco’ meaning arm or branc.

Serve cooked broccoli as an accompanying vegetable dressed with melted butter or a drizzle of olive oil. Broccoli can be steamed or stir-fried. It is excellent when mixed with other vegetables like cauliflower and carrots. Broccoli is popular in soups. Cooked broccoli florets are also a popular addition to pasta bakes and sauces.

Purple sprouting broccoli is a slender variety of broccoli, with long stalks and small purple flower heads. The leaves, heads and stalks are all edible. Simply steamed or boiled, it partners beautifully with almost any fish and meat dish. Try it raw – just wash it and then eat it in salad or with a dip such as houmous for a lovely snack.


Perfect for regular or purple sprouting broccoli.

broccoli, cut into spears
2 tbsp butter
Fresh lemon juice to taste
Freshly grated lemon zest
Black Pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Steam the broccoli for 5- 8 minutes, or until tender, but still with a bit of crunch. In a large frying pan heat the butter over a medium heat, then add the broccoli to the pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle the broccoli with lemon juice, zest, and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.