Broccoli (Brassica oleracea)
Broccoli began as a wild growing native of the Mediterranean region. The Italians gave broccoli its name; brocco means "sprout" and the Latin brachium means "arm" or "branch". The vegetable only became popular in the U.S. after World War II, when returning GIs, who had eaten broccoli abroad, created a demand. Broccoli is an especially good source of vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium, and iron. Broccoli is also considered to aid in fighting cancer due to an enzyme called sulforaphane.
- Broccoli is best used within a couple of days. Store in plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator.
- For long-term storage, broccoli freezes well. Cut into florets and slice stems. Blanch for 2-4 minutes, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, drain, and place in an airtight container such as a freezer bag.