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The Best Way to Cook Broccoli

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2008

Vegetable side dishes often don't get much attention and taste rather dull. Here's how to get the most flavor out of broccoli.

Shopping Notes

The stalks are just as tasty as the florets, so make sure they aren't dry or cracked.

Preparation

Cut florets into 1 1/2-inch pieces; peel stalks and cut on bias into 1/4-inch-thick pieces.

Basic Cooking Method

Pan-roasting brings out broccoli's sweet rather than sulfurous flavors. Sauté peeled stalks from 1 3/4 pounds broccoli in 12-inch nonstick skillet filmed with 2 tablespoons oil for 2 minutes. To promote browning, cook over medium-high heat and do not stir. Add florets and cook until they start to brown (1 to 2 minutes), then add 3 tablespoons water, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove lid and cook until water evaporates and broccoli is tender, another 2 minutes.

1. Hold bunch of broccoli upside down on work surface. Using chef's knife, trim off florets very close to their heads. Cut florets into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

2. Place each stalk on cutting board and square it off with chef's knife. Remove outer 1/8 inch of stalk, which is quite tough.

3. Cut peeled stalk on bias into 1/4-inch thick slices about 1 1/2-inches long.