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.
Most Common Uses:
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!
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Join Paula for a book signing/meet & greet from 11:00 – 2:00 at Wolf Furniture in Hagerstown, MD.
Friday, May 9th starting at 6:30 pm at the Downstream Casino Pavilion. Admission: $100 per person; $60 per person for auction only. Limited seating available. Purchase tickets online. Proceeds benefit The Bag Lady Foundation.
Join Paula for tea and conversation at St. Mark Catholic Church, Richmond, KY. Get tickets online.
In celebration of the 25th Anniversary, come join the Deen Family for a Book Signing at The Lady & Sons on Friday, June 13th from 10 am to 12 pm.
The event is free; 350 wristbands to be distributed starting at 9 am.
Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas to Labadee, Jamaica, and Cozumel (roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale) presented by Alice Travel. We will be having special, separate events for kids on this one with Jack Deen hosting the kids program! Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel Book now before the prices start going up on the cruise and air!