Green goodness: growing and cooking with broccoli
Broccoli is a culinary chameleon, stir-frying one minute, greening up a salad the next. With a bit of creativity, you can sneak it into most meals. The only rule when it comes to broccoli is don't boil it to death. Boiling broccoli results in the loss of key nutrients so whenever you can, include it raw, steamed or stir-fried.
Grow your own
Broccoli grows well in cooler months and needs rich, moist, composted soil to thrive. It will take 50 days to fully mature from seedlings. Space your seedlings 30-40 cm apart - less crowding means fewer weeds. Pick when the flowerheads are firm and tight.
Cook it clever
Add broccoli to your favourite winter soup to give it a nutritional boost or incorporate in wintry salads. Serve as an accompaniment lightly grilled and served with lemon, olive oil and almonds. Blitz it raw with garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan to make a healthy pesto alternative.
This salad is a good vegetarian main course or would go well with roasted or barbecued lamb.
This soup is perfect anytime, but especially on a rainy winter's day by the fire.
Keep your broccoli tender but crisp and once it melds with the dressing, herbs and nuts, even those who proclaim to hate broccoli are surprised at how good it tastes.