Vegetable of the month: Broccoli


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This versatile vegetable should be a standby in crisper drawers. Not only is broccoli readily available in grocery stores, it keeps well and can be prepared in a variety of ways. As a side dish, you can eat it raw (for instance, used like cabbage in coleslaw), or steamed, sautéed, or roasted. But broccoli also can play a starring role in dinnertime dishes such as soups, stir-fries, pastas, and casseroles. When choosing broccoli, look for firm stems and tightly packed florets that are deep green or have a slightly purplish hue.

Nutritional info: Broccoli is high in vitamin A and folate (vitamin B9), as well as vitamins C and K. It's also a good source of potassium and dietary fiber, and a half-cup serving has just 15 calories.

Easy recipe: Chop off the stems; peel and slice into small pieces. Break the crowns into bite-size pieces. Place in a steamer basket in a pan of boiling water; cover and cook for five to six minutes, until just tender. (Overcooked broccoli will turn olive-green and mushy.) Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Or serve chilled with your favorite dip.