What is it about little boys and broccoli? Five year old Raylan loves the cooked spears so much that he asks for seconds, sometimes he talks his big sister Mikayla into generously sharing her broccoli with him too!
My old tried and true cooking method was steaming in a plastic Tupperware steamer in the microwave. That all changed when I was introduced to the immersion (boiling) method during my Rouxbe Forks Over Knives online cooking course…truly, what I learned was life-changing!
I grew up in the sixties on boiled vegetables and in my case, they were boiled to smithereens…pale, soggy, flavorless versions of the vibrant, crisp and nutrient rich produce they began as. Microwave steaming was a lot better, but not the best.
But no more…I spent an entire evening learning to cook broccoli to perfection for a graded course assignment. I cut up broccoli into uniform florets, dropped them into into rapidly boiling water and pulled them out after 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 minutes slicing them through and visually checking for the proper doneness. Below are pictures from my assignment.
Number 3 is the winner, boiling for 3 minutes results in florets that are still a bit crisp, the color is bright and the cooking water will have just the slightest tinge of green. A fast test for doneness of most vegetables is to insert a fork into the vegetable and lift, if you are able to lift just a bit before the vegetable slides off the fork, its done.
Its a bit hard to see but the stem of number 1 has a darker green flesh running lengthwise a long the stem. This is the result of a 1 minute blanche, and would be good served with a dip. Number 2 has less dark green and was cooked for two minutes or parboiled, this is a good option when the broccoli is going into a chilled salad.
So what I learned was when I cut the broccoli into small florets and boiled them for exactly 3 minutes it was great! So great in fact, that I ate all two pounds of my broccoli homework! I really like broccoli but I LOVE it made this way. My coworker made some for her grandson Jax. It made such an impression on him that he proclaimed “I wants broccoli made this way for dinner every night for the rest of my life!” What a smart boy!
May I proudly present the simplest kid-friendly recipe ever!
Jax’s Forever Broccoli
Fill a 2 quart pot about 3/4 of the way full. Add salt to water if desired. Bring to boil
Rinse 1-2 lbs broccoli
Using a sharp knife, cut the stem leaving about 1 – ½ inches.
Separate the florets – check out the picture above for size.
When the water is boiling, drop the florets carefully into the boiling water. The florets should just about submerge, don’t overcrowd.
Remove after three minutes using a slotted spoon or a spider utensil.
Serve and be amazed at how quickly this veggie disappears!