Broccoli is a staple for many families. This plant loves the cool weather and does not do well in the summer heat. It also takes a beating in spring from a common farm pest - the flea beetle. We do not grow spring broccoli to avoid flea beetle damage but, more importantly, because it just doesn't taste as good as fall broccoli. Plants in the brassica family are able to survive a light frost and actually taste better for it. When the temperature drops below freezing, these plants start producing their own anti-freeze that protects the plants cells from bursting. Lucky for us, this anti-freeze is non-toxic and forms a tasty sugar compound. This gives fall brassicas their sweet flavor compared with a more bitter spring taste.
Stores up to a week in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Freezes well. Cut into florets, blanch for 3-4 minutes, rinse with cold water, drain and place in freezer bags.
- Soak the head upside down in salted water to remove hidden field pests.
- For most dishes, you will want to cut the head into bite size florets.
- The larger stem can be peeled and cubed for use in a variety of dishes.
- Steam for 5-7 minutes until bright green but not soft. Serve warm as a side dish or cold in a salad. Can be topped with lemon juice, butter, olive oil, salt, cheese or any of your favorite dressings.
- Eat raw - plain or with dressing.