I really like broccoli, in fact, as a child, it was my FAVORITE vegetable. My son-in-law, Michael, calls it “nature’s candy.” So, you’d think that I’ve been eating it all the time, but I haven’t. The reason for that is two-fold.
The first is that broccoli can SMELL really foul when you cook it. The second is that broccoli can turn brown and LOOK really foul when you cook it.
What to do? I love this vegetable, but don’t want that stench in my home. I don’t want to serve it to guests because of the smell … and the fact that no one wants a pile of brown veggies next to their entree.
Well I got smart, and did a little research. Now I can confidently prepare broccoli for myself, my family, and my friends without fear. The good news is that you can too. Here’s how.
Start by washing and cutting a desired amount of broccoli.
It’s important to remember that broccoli, like all green vegetables, contains chlorophyll. That’s what gives it that gorgeous green color.
STEP 1. NEVER STEAM OR COVER BROCCOLI WHILE COOKING
When chlorophyll is cooked, it produces carbon dioxide. Covering the cooking broccoli will trap the gas, and turn the chlorophyll a drab, gray color. It will also produce that gross smell.
STEP 2. COOK BROCCOLI WITH PLENTY OF SALT
Use one teaspoon salt per 1 cup of water. Salt provides a “barrier” against carbon dioxide, which prevents chlorophyll from changing color.
STEP 3. COOK BROCCOLI IN PLENTY OF WATER
Make sure that you have enough water in your pot so that all of the broccoli is floating in it.
STEP 4. MAKE SURE THAT THE WATER IS BOILING BEFORE YOU ADD BROCCOLI
This ensures that the pores on the broccoli will be quickly blocked, and prevents vitamins and minerals from leaching into the water.
STEP 5. ONLY COOK BROCCOLI UNTIL IT’S TENDER
You don’t want to overcook it. About 5-7 minutes is perfect. Test it with a fork for tenderness. I stick with exactly 5 minutes.
STEP 6. STOP THE COOKING PROCESS AS SOON AS BROCCOLI IS TENDER
Immediately drain it in a colander, and serve.
If you aren’t serving it immediately, or if it’s going into a salad to be served cold, dip it into an ice bath. This stops the cooking process and ensures that the broccoli stays that gorgeous green color.
Enjoy “nature’s BEAUTIFUL candy!”