Recipes and facts – Broccoli

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

These vegetables are known for their beneficial health effects.

Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. It also boasts more protein than most other vegetables.

This green veggie can be enjoyed both raw and cooked, but recent research shows that gentle steaming provides the most health benefits

Recipes

Pasta with broccoli pesto

Roasted broccoli

Pasta with Broccoli Pesto

This is a lovely way to use broccoli as a main component rather than a side dish – and a great way to encourage children to eat greens.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes.

Serves: 4

  • 350g pasta
  • 350g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp Pine Kernels, toasted (substitute other nuts such as almonds if these are too expensive)
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large pan of boiling water, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions. At the same time, cook the broccoli in a separate pan of boiling water for 10-12 minutes, or until very soft.

Meanwhile, in a small pan heat the olive oil, add the garlic and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until softened but not coloured. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Thoroughly drain the broccoli, return to the pan and mash roughly with a fork.

Thoroughly drain the pasta and return to the pan. Stir in the mashed broccoli, garlic, pine kernels and lemon juice, and season to taste. Season generously and serve immediately scattered with Parmesan.

Cook’s tip

To toast pine kernels, dry-fry in a pan over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, shaking occasionally, until golden, or scatter on a baking sheet and bake at 190°C, gas mark 5, for about 5 minutes.

This recipe was first published on Waitrose.com in July 2002

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Roasted Broccoli

  • 2 medium to large heads of broccoli , about 1 kg / 2 lb
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely sliced or minced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to your taste)
  • Black pepper
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese , plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 220C/425F (standard) or 180C/350F (fan/convection).

Cut/break broccoli into florets and pile onto baking tray.

Drizzle all over with extra virgin olive oil, scatter with garlic, salt and pepper. Toss with fingers or tongs, then spread out over tray in a single layer. 

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the tips of the florets are slightly browned and crispy. The broccoli should be “tender crisp”, meaning just cooked through, not soft and floppy.

Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle over the lemon juice, lemon zest, and parmesan.

Toss quickly, transfer to serving plate and garnish with a bit more parmesan. Serve warm!

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