- How to check if broccoli is fresh
- How to cut broccoli: 4 different ways
Do you eat your greens? Getting the essential nutrients you need is all about piling your plate with healthy ingredients. Packed with dietary fibre, protein and an array of healthy vitamins, broccoli is a smart place to start.
But wait just a minute — do you know how to cut broccoli like a pro? Thankfully, prepping this scrummy vegetable doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right advice, you’ll be slicing it up like an expert chef.
Reading: how to chop broccoli for stir fry
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know to get started…
How to check if broccoli is fresh
Before you grab that knife and start cutting, there’s one thing that you need to consider first. Is your broccoli fresh? Of course, one of the easiest things you can do if you’ve bought your broccoli at a supermarket is to check the ‘use by date’ and the ‘best by date’.
If you’re feeling confused, the government has helpful guidelines on what each of these dates means and how closely you need to follow them. Simple.
If you’ve bought your broccoli at a market stall, you may find that there are no such dates on its packaging. In that case, you need to look out for any signs that the broccoli is passed its peak.
Fresh, healthy broccoli should be bright green and have a subtle smell. When its scent starts to intensify and the colour changes to yellow, that means that the broccoli is going bad. You will also notice that the vegetable starts to become limp.
Needless to say, you should not eat broccoli that is rotten or spoiled. Always check your vegetables before you start cooking. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to veg!
How to cut broccoli: 4 different ways
Here at Expert Home Tips, we’re always looking for the best ways to prepare healthy greens. From fun ways to use cauliflower to hidden vegetable recipes, we can’t get enough of these nutritious ingredients. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how to cut broccoli like a professional chef. Here are four simple options.
1. How to cut broccoli florets
Let’s start with the basics — how to cut broccoli florets. If you’re something of a whiz in the kitchen, you might think you already have this one down. However, there are ways to get this seemingly simple task wrong.
Before you get started, you will need a chopping board and a sharp knife. Here’s how to do it.
- Wash the broccoli thoroughly to start. Avoid soaking the broccoli — simply put it under running water. Use a clean tea towel to pat the vegetable dry afterwards.
- Cut the leaves from the broccoli and set aside. Carefully slice the base of each floret so that it comes away from the main broccoli plant.
- Take each of the individual florets and chop the stem off of it. You should ensure that the florets are roughly the same size so that they take the same time to cook.
- Optionally, you can slice the florets into finer pieces. This step works well if you’re hoping to cook the broccoli super fast or you’re in a rush.
TOP TIP: Don’t waste the leaves and stalks. When you have prepared your broccoli florets, make sure that you use the extra parts of the plant. Research shows that both the leaves and stalks of the broccoli plant are rich in vitamins and nutrients.
2. How to cut broccoli for slaw
Next up, let’s take a look at how to cut broccoli for slaw. Crunchy and delicious, slaw is the perfect topping for everything from burgers to salads. While most people tend to use cabbage or beetroot for their slaw, many of the vegetables you have in your kitchen will work. Whipping up a tasty broccoli slaw takes no time and it’s well worth the effort.
For this recipe, you will need to use the stems of the broccoli. The firm, crispy texture of this part of the plant lends itself perfectly to a slaw. Again, you will need a sharp knife and a chopping board before you get started. Here’s what you need to know.
- Wash the stems of the broccoli by running it under cool water. Pat the stems to make sure that they are dry before getting started.
- Peel the stems first. You can use a sharp knife to make a small incision at the base of the stem and then peel off the outer layer by hand.
- When cutting broccoli for slaw, you need to use a julienne cut. While that may sound fancy, it simply means that you should cut the stalks into long thin strips.
- For reference, the strips should be a similar size to that of matchsticks. However, you can make them chunkier or slimmer depending on your taste!
When you’ve done all of the above, you can go ahead and make your slaw. Mix the slices of broccoli with celery and apple slices.
For your dressing, you can combine mayonnaise, olive oil and a dash of lime juice. Stir all of the ingredients in a large bowl and cool in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.
3. How to cut broccoli for stir fry
When you’re making a stir-fry, broccoli is an ultra-healthy addition to the recipe. So, do you know how to cut broccoli for a stir fry? While there are a few different ways you can go here, there’s one process that proves to be a winner every time. Ensure that you have a chopping board handy along with a sharp knife. Here’s how to get it right.
- Wash the broccoli under running water. Pat dry using a clean tea towel.
- Remove the leaves from the broccoli plant. Cut the florets from the main stalk.
- Leave around one inch of stalk on each floret and cut off any excess.
By leaving some of the stalk on each of the florets, you will get extra vitamins and nutrients. You don’t want to waste anything here! Plus, as an added bonus, this rustic style of cutting your vegetables means your stir-fry will look gourmet.
4. How to cut broccoli for salad
When it comes to how to cut broccoli for a salad, there’s one golden rule you need to remember. The thinner you slice the vegetables, the better the salad will be.
If you cut your broccoli correctly the florets will separate into a grain-like texture. It’s similar to the technique you use when making broccoli rice.
Ready to eat a healthy salad? You will need a bowl and a sharp knife before you get started. Here’s how you can cut broccoli for salad super fast.
- Wash your broccoli and use a clean tea towel to pat it dry.
- Remove the leaves and set aside for later.
- Hold the broccoli downwards by the stem with the florets over a bowl.
- Use a sharp knife to shave the top layer of florets off the plant. You want to be as gentle as possible here. The florets should break away into the bowl effortlessly.
- Next, cut larger floret pieces off the main part of the broccoli. You should end up with a mixture of florets and grain-like pieces.
- You can sprinkle both the smaller and larger pieces throughout your salad!
TOP TIP: Use your broccoli leaves in your salad too. When you have removed the leaves from the broccoli plant, wash them and set them aside. You can use these leaves as a part of your salad for extra flavour and a whole load more vitamins.
Read more: how to fry okra in oven | Family Cuisine
Now that you know how to cut broccoli, it’s time to get cooking. As we’ve covered, there are loads of ways to enjoy this vegetable and you can use the entire plant in your meals. Get started today and load your dishes up with nourishing greens!
How many calories are in broccoli?
A 91g-serving of raw broccoli contains 30.9 kcal. The vegetable is also rich in iron, vitamin C and dietary fibre, which means that it’s a super healthy food type.
Can you eat the broccoli stem and leaves?
Yes, ‘root to shoot’ eating is highly popular these days. Put simply, it means that you try to use every single part of a plant when cooking. When it comes to broccoli, you can use the leaves, stems and — of course — the florets too.
Do you always have to cook broccoli?
No! You can eat broccoli raw too. However, if you want to get an extra crisp texture to your vegetables, you might want to blanch them in boiling water before serving.
How should you store broccoli?
You should store broccoli unwashed in the fridge. You can wrap it in a damp paper towel to keep it fresher for longer. Ideally, you should consume the vegetable 2-3 days after buying.