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Steamed Broccoli in a pot and colander

Vegetable Techniques – Cooking Broccoli

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  • Author: Andrea Sprague
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes


Broccoli is a great vegetable in that it is pretty easy to prepare and has a mild flavor. I like to use a two-step cooking method that starts with quickly blanching it in boiling water, this helps to soften the florets and makes them turn a brilliant bright green color.


  • 1 to 2 large heads broccoli
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced


  • A paring knife
  • Cutting board
  • Pot for boiling water
  • Strainer
  • Saute pan
  • Spatula or tongs


  1. Trimming into florets – Slice straight through the broccoli stem as close to the crown as you can get, just where the larger stem starts to break into smaller stems. The crown should break into several large florets. Cut through the “trunk” of each floret to make pieces that are all about the same size.
  2. Place these in a small bowl and run them under water to wash away any grit.
  3. Blanching – Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.   If the pot is big enough to fit all the vegetables where they can be submerged, then place them all in at once. If the vegetables won’t all fit without being crammed, do half at a time. Add a tsp of salt and the broccoli florets and cook until just tender, about 1 to 1 1/2  minutes.
  4. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a colander.
  5. Place pot back on the stove and bring the water back to a boil.  Repeat steps with the remaining broccoli if needed.
  6. Sauteing – here is where the flavor comes in. Place a non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot (about 30 seconds later), add some olive oil, this is about 1 tablespoon.
  7. Add the minced garlic and let sizzle about 10 seconds, not too long, just enough for the garlic to impart its flavor out into the oil.
  8. Add the blanched broccoli florets to the pan and toss to distribute the olive oil and garlic.  Sprinkle with a little salt, and then taste. Because you salted the cooking water, this may not need very much salt. Taste and add more if desired.
  9. Place on a plate or bowl and serve.