Broccoli –

Scientific and Common Names
organic CSA farm purple sprouting broccoli
Brassica oleracea L.
var. italica or Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis sub. var. cymosa
Broccoli

About

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia] “Broccoli (from the Italian plural of broccolo, referring to ‘the flowering top of a cabbage’) is a plant of the mustard/cabbage family Brassicaceae (formerly Cruciferae). It is classified in the Italica cultivar group of the species Brassica oleracea. Broccoli has large flower heads, usually green in color, arranged in a tree-like fashion on branches sprouting from a thick, edible stalk. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. Broccoli most closely resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivar group of the same species. Broccoli evolved from a wild cabbage plant on the continent of Europe. Indications point to the vegetable’s being known 2,000 years ago.  Since the Roman Empire, broccoli has been considered a uniquely valuable food among Italians.  Roman farmers called broccoli ‘the five green fingers of Jupiter.’

“Thomas Jefferson, often called ‘the farmer presidents, was an avid gardener and collector of new seeds and plants of fruits and vegetables to arrive in the United States. In 1766 he began keeping detailed notes in his garden book of any seeds or seedlings planted in his extensive garden at Monticello, his home near Charlottesville, Virginia. He recorded his planting of broccoli, along with radishes, lettuce, and cauliflower on May 27, 1767.

“Broccoli was reintroduced to the American states by Italian immigrants but did not become widely known until before the outbreak of World War II. Broccoli was not adopted into popular circles until the D’Arrigo brothers, Stephano and Andrea, immigrants from Messina, Italy, came to the United States along with their broccoli seeds. The D’Arrigo Brothers Company began with some trial plantings in San Jose, California in 1922. After harvesting their first crop, they shipped a few crates to Boston. Meeting with success, they went on to establish their burgeoning broccoli business with the brand name Andy Boy, named after Stephano’s two-year-old son, Andrew. They advertised by supporting a radio program and featured ads for broccoli on the station. By the 1930’s, the country was having a love affair with broccoli. People were convinced that broccoli was a newly developed plant.”

Fractal Broccoli

Broccoli is a cool-weather crop that does poorly in hot summer weather. Broccoli grows best when exposed to an average daily temperature between 18 and 23 degree Celsius (64 and 73 ℉). When the cluster of flowers, also referred to as a ‘head’ of broccoli, appear in the center of the plant, the cluster is green. The cluster will appear exactly like the broccoli you eat every so often. You need to use garden pruners or sheers to cut the head about an inch from the tip, and be sure that you cultivate it before the flowers on the head bloom bright yellow.

Nutritional Information

Broccoli, raw, Nutritional value per 100 grams
Nutrient Amount % US RDA
Energy 141 kJ (34 kcal) N/A
Carbohydrates 6.64 g N/A
Sugars 1.7g N/A
Dietary fiber 2.6 g 18%
Fat 0.37 g N/A
Protein 2.2 g .5%
Vitamin A * mg (3%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.639 mg (4%)
Vitamin B6 .0.175 mg (13%)
Folate (Vit. B9) * mcg DFE (16%)
Vitamin C 89.2 mg (149%)
Calcium 47 mg (6%)
Iron 0.73 mg (6%)
Magnesium 21 mg (6%)
Phosphorus 66 mg (5%)
Potassium 316 mg (11%)
Zinc 0.41 mg (4%)

Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

Brokolice 1

 

Uses and Cooking Tips

Broccoli is usually boiled or steamed, but may be eaten raw and has become popular as a raw vegetable in hors d’oeuvre trays. Although boiling has been shown to reduce the levels of suspected anti-cancer compounds in broccoli, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, lactic fermentation, and stir-frying have not been shown to reduce the presence of these compounds.

Broccoli contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium. A single serving provides more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C. The 3,3′-Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled more than ten minutes. A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Broccoli consumption has also been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease. (from Wikipedia)

Recipes

Roasted Broccoli and WallaWalla Onion

  • 1 head broccoli divided into florets
  • 1 Walla Walla onion cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli and onion with the oil and Parmesan and season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  3. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

  • 3 cups fresh, chopped broccoli
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk or half-and-half
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Over medium heat, whisk melted butter and flour until well combined. After five minutes or so, add milk or half-and-half and chicken stock. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  2. Add broccoli and cook on low heat until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. In a food processor, add the soup mixture and puree before returning to the saucepan.
  3. Add the shredded cheese and stir until well incorporated.