Beautiful Boiled Broccoli


Beautiful Boiled Broccoli

Beautiful Boiled Broccoli

This was another one of those ideas I resisted for a long time because of less-than-favourable childhood memories.

And then when I started to focus on eating more veg. And prepping ahead. The oven was full one weekend so I decided to try boiling / steaming a few heads of broccoli.

I guess it didn’t hurt that the broccoli was from my favourite producer at the farmers market. But I couldn’t get enough of this simple green veg.

So vibrantly green. So fresh. So much flavour!

As you may have guessed from the proliferation of broccoli recipes on Stonesoup, it’s become one of my fave ingredients to have in the fridge. I hope it becomes one of your faves too!

The secret is only using a little water in the pot so you’re minimizing loss of water-soluble vitamins and making the process quicker.

And don’t forget the salt. It’s critical for balancing out the natural bitterness of broccoli AND keeping the colour vibrantly green.

takes: 15 minutes
2 heads broccoli (or more)

1. Bring a medium pot of salted water about 2cm (1in) deep to the boil. Meanwhile slice broccoli stems and cut florettes into bite sized trees.

2. Add broccoli to the boiling water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Drain and spread out on a plate or baking tray to allow to cool and let the steam escape.

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Variations & Substitutions

pantry-friendly – frozen broccoli. Cook from frozen until broccoli is tender and hot.

different veg – broccolini, asparagus, green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas, cauliflower. Adjust cooking time as needed.

keto / ultra low carb – use washed baby spinach leaves instead.

Recipes to Use Your Broccoli

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe. Will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or can be frozen. Serve cold, at room temp or warmed in a little oil or butter.

Beautiful Boiled Broccoli-2


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica Makae March 19, 2020

On Broccoli Cacio e Pepe water drinking: i’m going to try this! it seems a lot like it would jive with MFK Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf philosophy of using everything. Like maybe this would be a good start for the next soup ..

Also, extremely timely for me as I picked up a beautiful bunch of purple broccolini at the farmer’s market. Looking forward to trying it out, though we might go more carbonara with it. 🙂


jules March 19, 2020

Ooh I love MFK Fisher Jessica – lovely to be reminded of her.

And Carbonara is always a good idea 😉


Georgiana Cave March 14, 2020

cooked broccoli freezes well?


jules March 17, 2020

It’s Ok Georgiana.

The texture goes a bit more spongey. – Not the end of the world but not quite as nice as fresh.

But better than broccoli going bad in the fridge or (heaven forbid) no broccoli at all!



maarvarq February 26, 2020

I just microwave it in a bowl with a plate for a lid. 30 seconds for the stems alone, add the florets and give it another 3 min 30. Perfect.


jules February 27, 2020

Thanks for reporting back Maarvarq!


CK February 20, 2020

Hi Jules,

Have you tried cooking broccoli in the oven with olive oil + herbs + salt and chili? This is by far the best way I found to enjoy it. Quick, easy and delicious.
Thanks for sharing all those nice recipes.



jules February 21, 2020

Yes! I love roast broccoli too CK – but this boiling method wins for speed – 5 mins!


birgit brabetz March 28, 2019

oh thank you
I’m always looking at the broccoli heads but had no idea how to cook them
now I’m on my way
lg birgit


jules March 29, 2019

Enjoy Birgit!
I love this broccoli so much.


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