Broccoli is a modern vegetable and member of the Brassica family. It is quick and convenient to prepare and cook. It is at its best when blanched as it keeps its colour and bite. Broccoli stalks can also be eaten raw adding flavour and bite to salads.
Purple sprouting broccoli is another variant of calabrese, which is particularly flavoursome with long stalks and florets. The stalks have a slight asparagus flavour. Broccoli is particularly popular in Italian cuisine where it is often cooked in the oven with onions, added to a pizza or served with pasta in a garlic and tomato sauce.
Broccoli is an excellent source of Vitamin A and C as well as folic acid and fibre. Overcooking destroys heat-sensitive and water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C and folic acid.

Nutritional Value

Nutrient Raw Cooked
Energy kJ 138 100
Kcal 33 24
Protein g 4.4 3.1
Carbohydrate g 1.8 1.1
Fat g 0.9 0.8

A good source of…

Nutrient Raw Cooked
Fibre One Tick One Tick
Vitamin A One TickOne TickOne Tick One TickOne TickOne Tick
Vitamin C One TickOne TickOne TickOne Tick One TickOne TickOne Tick
Folic Acid One TickOne Tick One TickOne Tick

For more information on nutrition and the details given above, check out our nutrition page.

Preparing and Using

When buying check that the stalk, flower head and leaves all look fresh and that the florets are tightly closed and bright green. Loose broccoli will last longer than those bought pre-wrapped.Broccoli is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be used in dishes such as vegetarian lasagne, added to pasta sauces, soups and salads and used as crudités with dips and dressings. Broccoli can be used to garnish buffets and will add colour and bite to a bouquetiére of vegetables.

When serving as a vegetable, calabrese is best cooked gently in boiling water but sprouting broccoli can be steamed. They can also both be cooked or re-heated in a microwave. Both varieties can be served simply with butter and lemon juice or with a Hollandaise or Béarnaise sauce. Alternatively they can be served au gratin with a Mornay sauce or garnished with a breadcrumb topping such as Polonaise or used in a mousselline.

Broccoli is used in many oriental dishes and is excellent when stir-fried. Blanch and refresh first and add at the last minute. Broccoli florets can be made into savoury fritters, or tempura,when dipped in batter and deep-fried. Good flavour combinations for broccoli include:ginger, lemon, lime, almonds and fennel.


For some broccoli recipes, visit the Bord Bia website here

Organic Beef Stir-fry with Broccoli

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Stir-fry Strips of Lamb with Peppers and Broccoli

Quick and easy when time is short – try in pitta bread or a tortilla wrap for food on the go

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