Sometimes we think food that is fresh takes longer to cook than something that is commercially packed and processed (or frozen). This is true for plenty of food items but there are still quick and easy options if you’re wanting to eat healthier and make fresh vegetables as sides for your main meals.
Cooking broccoli isn’t all that complicated or time consuming, it’s so versatile and can be boiled, sauteed, steamed, roasted…even grilled! But this method of using the microwave is a must-have in my kitchen bag of tricks…it really couldn’t be quicker and it’s so fuss-free…perfect for busy weeknight meals!
If you’ve always kept a bag of frozen on hand because you thought it was easier, try this method and you’ll never settle for frozen again. If it’s the rinsing and prepping that turns you off (because of the extra few minutes it takes), you can buy bags of pre-washed and prepped raw veggies in the grocery produce section.
With this method you’ll find the results delicious and ready in minutes, with no special gadgets required! Here’s how…
- Wash and trim bunches then separate into smaller florets, try to keep them in uniform sizes. Yes, include the stalks…they are just as tasty! Make sure to trim them well and if they are quite thick, thinly peel off a layer.
- Arrange the pieces in a glass bowl or casserole dish and add a little water (no more than 2 tablespoons for 2 to 3 cups of fresh florets). Cover.
- Heat on high 2 to 2 1/2 minutes then check, if they aren’t quite done, re-cover and allow to sit and steam until they’re fork tender.
- Once done, strain off any remaining liquid and serve.
Tip: Be sure to use very little water and don’t overcook or there will be an extreme loss of nutrients–plus the result is a mushy, soggy veggie…who wants to eat that! There’s plenty of water on them from washing plus the extra bit added to be sufficient.
When are they done? You want broccoli to have a bit of a bite to it, not soft or mushy. It will be a rich, vibrant green in color. You should be able to pierce through it with a fork.
Note: Times may vary slightly due to microwaves heating differently.
If you prefer boiling them on the stove: Bring a pot of water to boil, add a good pinch of salt then toss in the prepped florets (as directed above). Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until the stalks are fork tender.
You can also use a bamboo steamer, they’ll take about the same amount of time as boiling. Simply set the steamer in the pot of boiling water, arrange pieces inside the steamer, cover and start the timer.
Oven roasting: Preheat oven to 450°. Toss florets with olive oil, salt and pepper. If you like garlic, crush/mince a clove or two and mix in along with the seasonings. Arrange pieces on a baking sheet (in a single layer) and roast for about 20-25 minutes. Check frequently since time will vary depending on the thickness of the pieces. Also try: a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over top. If the pieces are burnt a bit around the edges, don’t be shy about still eating them…they are delicious with a bit of char!