Broccoli is yet another member of the brassica family that is one of the few vegetables still locally available around here. I picked some up at the farmer’s market on Saturday and was taken aback by its exorbitant price. So, later that day, when I saw five lonely seedlings at the nursery for just $2, I thought, what the heck, I’ll stick these in my garden and see what happens. Maybe I’ll get a few stalks without paying through the nose!
Broccoli, as most are aware, is especially rich in essential vitamins and nutrients as well as certain anti-cancer compounds. Though boiling reduces the concentration of these phytochemicals, other methods of preparation, such as steaming or microwaving, actually allow certain nutrients found in broccoli to be more readily accepted into our bodies. I try to eat a brassica plant at least once a week and broccoli seems to be a favorite standby. I always keep some frozen on hand, though I do prefer the texture when I start with fresh.
Last night, I used my farmer’s market broccoli for just a simple pasta dish — sauteed a LOT of garlic, added about a half cup of wine and pasta-cooking liquid to the pan, steamed the broccoli in this liquid for a few minutes, tossed with pasta, and seasoned with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. And of course a bit of grated parmesan.