Because it is one of Nature’s real superfoods with countless health benefits, including support for the immune system. A member of the cruciferous family (think kale, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts), it is absolutely packed with nutrients: antioxidants like sulforaphane, lutein and zeaxanthin; Vitamins A, the Bs, K and particularly C – in fact a cup of cooked broccoli contains as much Vitamin C as an orange; and it is also rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc. So include it in your daily diet as often as you can.
Admittedly its talents in the kitchen are somewhat limited and it needs to be cooked carefully and provided with some attractive partners. This is one of my favourite recipes which I have adapted from Natasha Edwards’ GARLIC The Mighty Bulb by Kyle Books.
SPICY TENDERSTEM BROCCOLI
600 g tenderstem broccoli, trimmed
1 heaped teaspoon sesame seeds
½ tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
A thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced – leave in the seeds if you want more of a kick!
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Steam the broccoli for three to four minutes, until barely tender.
In a small frying pan set over medium heat, stir-fry the sesame seeds until they start to pop and smell nutty, about two minutes. Set aside.
In a frying pan large enough to hold the broccoli comfortably, heat the two oils over medium heat before adding the garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir-fry gently for two to three minutes to colour them lightly. Add the broccoli and carefully turn it over in the oil to coat it well – kitchen tongs are perfect for this. Sprinkle in the vinegar and soy sauce and grind in some black pepper. Cook for a further two or three minutes until hot and aromatic.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve immediately.