Deep green flower clusters which form the head, and pale green stems, with firm stalks that snap easily. Avoid using broccoli with yellowed leaves or yellow flowers through the buds.
What to look for
Choose compact bud clusters with no yellow colouring or large open buds. Heads should be dark green or have a purple tinge (except for Romanesco, orange broccoli and broccoflower – they are a lighter, brighter green).
Refrigerate in plastic bags. Use promptly.
How to prepare
Trim stalks and divide heads into even sized portions. The stalks can be left attached to the florets. Alternatively, stalks can be removed, sliced finely and used in stir fries and soups; or julienned and used in coleslaw. Broccoli is usually eaten cooked – however, cook only until tender and still slightly crisp. Cook using methods such as steaming, microwaving and stir frying. To blanch, simply place portions in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain and cool under cold running water. Blanching improves taste, colour and texture.
Ways to eat
Broccoli is one of the most versatile vegetables. It can be served raw or lightly blanched and used in salads, pasta dishes, omelettes, quiches, soups and as a side dish.
Boil, steam, microwave, roast, stir fry.