Mama was right. Everyone knows vegetables are good for you, and broccoli is one of the most nutritious in all the vegetable kingdom. This tasty green vitamin machine is a member of the cruciferous, or cabbage family, where leaves or flowers of the plant grow in the shape of a cross or crucifix. Not only is broccoli loaded with vitamins and minerals, it also contains high levels of antioxidants known to counteract harmful toxins in our bodies.
Broccoli’s origin began in southern Italy in the province of Calabria. Its name comes from the Latin word, brachium, meaning “branch” or “arm.” Although there are many varieties, the most common type of broccoli is the Italian green, also known as sprouting broccoli. Other family members are broccoflower – a cross between broccoli and cauliflower with a bright, light green color, or broccolini, a slimmer version of broccoli, with tender stems and a milder, more delicate flavor.
To select the pick of the bunch, look for tightly closed, dark green clusters, and firm, crisp stalks. Pass up any yellowing buds, mushy spots, and limp stalks, which indicate the broccoli is past its prime. Look on the bottom of the stalks to make sure they are closed. Stalks with hollow cores on the bottom tend to be older, woodier, and tougher. Store broccoli, unwashed, in a food storage bag and refrigerate up to 5 days. Just remember, broccoli loses its nutritional value the longer you store it – so try to use it within a day or two.
One of the easiest and most versatile uses for broccoli is the casserole. And it would be somewhat unusual to attend a Southern pot luck, church supper, or picnic and not come across some type of broccoli casserole; a pet recipe in almost every Southern cook’s kitchen! Paula’s Cheesy Broccoli Bake is chock full of broccoli, sharp Cheddar, crunchy water chestnuts, and sautéed mushrooms. If it’s soup that fits your mood, try velvety Broccoli Soup – a quick and easy blender soup that takes just minutes to make. If the heat is on, no-cook Broccoli-Almond Salad, or Broccoli Cole Slaw are two salads sure to keep you cool. They’re all good, and a good way to eat your broccoli!
Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm
Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am
I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am
Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm