Produce of the Week - Broccoli
sponsored by Coleman Farms
Cooler weather favors most members of the cabbage family, and Broccoli is no exception. It should be abundant and of fine quality for the next several months.
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins A (strictly speaking, of the A-precursor beta-carotene) and C as well as of iron and calcium and it's got a lot of those other micronutrients that are so popular nowadays.
Broccoli is also a good source of flavor. It tends to be less sulpherous than some members of the cabbage family, and its combination of nut carrot and cabbage flavors with algal tones mixes well with anything from potatoes, white (think 'bubble and squeak') to potatoes, sweet, carrots or cauliflower, and works well with a range of herbs and spices. If you have any of last week's Pumpkin left over, you can combine it with Broccoli and any of the above, plus a legume or two (lentils, beans or chickpeas) and whatever fruit (apples, raisins) and spices you like to make a vegetable curry.
It's easy to cook - steaming is preferred over boiling, which can lead to noticiable loss of flavor and nutrition, but broccoli can be cut fine and braised. It can be used as a simple side, in mixed dishes as outlined above, as an element in lasagne or calzone fillings, in soups.