How to Boil Broccoli

Опубликовал Admin
11-10-2020, 23:30
Broccoli is a nutrient-rich vegetable from the cabbage family. Nutritionists recommend that you avoid boiling it for too long, since it takes away many of the anti-carcinogenic properties. You can boil broccoli until it is soft, or blanch it to preserve nutrients and texture. Blanching broccoli removes its bitterness but maintains texture and taste similar to raw broccoli.

Cleaning and Cutting Broccoli

  1. Purchase fresh broccoli. Look for broccoli that is uniformly green, without a lot of brown or yellow areas. Feel the stem and crown to make sure they are firm and not limp. Check that the florets are in a nice, tight bunch.
    • You can store raw broccoli in your refrigerator drawer for at least a week. However, its nutritional properties will begin to decline after three days.
  2. Clean the broccoli with vinegar and water. Fill a spray bottle with three parts water to one part white vinegar. Spray the broccoli well. Alternately, soak the broccoli in vinegar water before cooking it, which will also drive out any insects that may be in it. Rinse the vegetables under cold tap water.
    • You can wash produce with water alone, but using the diluted vinegar method first removes about 98% of surface bacteria.
    • To make rinsing easier, place the broccoli in a colander inside of a clean sink basin. Use the spray setting on your faucet to rinse the vegetables.
  3. Cut the stalks away from the florets. Use a sharp knife to cut through the vegetable stem about two inches below the crown. Break the crown apart into big florets. Slice each floret’s trunk to get bite-sized chunks.
    • Remove any damaged or wilted leaves.
    • If desired, save the stalks to add to stew, salad, or stir-fry.
    • You can leave the stalks on if your recipe calls for it. Just peel back and remove the outermost layer, which is tough to eat, with a knife or vegetable peeler.

Boiling Broccoli Fully

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Pour enough water in a pot that it will completely submerge your broccoli. Add a sprinkle of salt to the water. Set the heat to high.
    • You can use regular table salt or sea salt.
    • If you’re unsure whether you’ll have enough water in the pot to cover the broccoli, you can put the broccoli in the pot and cover it with water. Then take it back out and set it aside.
  2. Cook the stalks first. Wait until the water has reached a rolling boil. If you want to cook the stalks, add them to the pot. Cook them for two minutes.
    • Broccoli stalks take longer to cook then florets.
  3. Add the florets. Lower the florets gently into the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Cook them in the pot with the stalks, if applicable, for four to five minutes. Don’t overcook them, or they will lose texture and taste.
    • The broccoli is done when it is tender enough to easily insert the tip of a knife.
  4. Cool the vegetables. Remove them with tongs or drain them with a heat-safe colander. Spread the broccoli on a baking sheet. Allow it to cool down at room temperature.
    • If you believe you may have cooked the broccoli too long, you can place the baking sheet into your fridge to speed up the cooling process.

Blanching Broccoli

  1. Boil water. Put a large pot of water over high heat. Add between a sprinkle and a tablespoon of salt to the water, if desired. Allow the pot of water to come to a boil.
    • Adding salt is optional. The advantage is that it will enhance the broccoli’s flavor. The disadvantage is that, over time, the sodium will cause the broccoli to be mushier.
  2. Prepare an ice bath. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Use a container that is at least five quarts. Alternately, you can use a clean sink basin with a drain stopper.
    • Skipping this step will affect the color and texture of your broccoli.
  3. Cook the broccoli in boiling water. Lower the broccoli into the water with a slotted spoon. Let it cook for about three minutes.
  4. Test the doneness with the tip of a sharp knife. If the vegetable clings onto the knife, it’s not yet done. If the knife goes in and out with ease, the broccoli is done.
  5. Plunge the broccoli into the ice bath immediately. Take the broccoli out of the water with tongs or a slotted spoon. “Shock” it by putting it into the ice bath.
    • Shocking vegetables cooks them moderately, then cools them rapidly so they stay crunchy.
  6. Leave the broccoli in the ice bath to cool. Allow the broccoli to sit in the ice bath for about five minutes. Don’t remove the broccoli from the ice bath until it is entirely cool, or it will keep cooking from the inside out.


  • Blanching vegetables maintains more flavor and nutrients than fully boiling them. Blanch broccoli if you plant to freeze it.
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