Ask the Expert
Making Broccoli Taste Better
Question: I know broccoli is good for me, but I don't like it. Any ideas for making it taste better?
Answer from: Maggie Gilbert, cooking expert
Broccoli is a healthy, vitamin-rich super food. If you know how to prepare it just right, it's so tasty that even picky eaters will ask for more.
Ask the Expert
Meet Maggie Gilbert, Cooking Expert
Answers to viewer questions about healthy cooking
Maggie Gilbert is a lifetime cooking expert who has spent more than 25 years in corporate test kitchens. She has a degree in home economics and education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a certificate from the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London. She has catered and taught cooking classes. As a mother, she is also experienced at cooking for and feeding kids.
UHC TV For Health and Happiness Ask the Expert Maggie Gilbert Cooking Expert (Maggie Gilbert at counter in her kitchen with knife, cutting board, spear of broccoli, cheese, and bowl of cooked broccoli) (Maggie Gilbert) I got a question about broccoli. Someone said, "I'm not a huge fan of broccoli but I know it's a super food. So, any ideas for making it taste better?" Yes! I have ideas, of course. Broccoli is actually a fabulous vegetable. It's really tasty if you know how to cook it and I'm going to tell you about that in a second. (Shows spear of fresh broccoli) So, as you know this is what broccoli looks like when you buy it in the grocery store in its whole form. It has a stem and the florets on top and I am going to kind of show you how to cut it up. (Cuts end of stem off with knife on cutting board) First thing we are going to do is remove the very bottom because sometimes that can be kind of dried out. So, I am going to cut that. We are going to eat the stem so hang on to that. So, speaking of super foods, broccoli has Vitamin A, Vitamin C, it has fiber, it has calcium. Really, it's really good for you. So, it's a great vegetable to incorporate into your diet. (Cuts at base of florets and pulls them apart) So, I have cut off the bottom. I'm just going to cut the top, right where these little florets are and I am going to deal with the stem in just a quick second, but you can see these are already starting to fall apart. The best way is just to pull these pieces off by hand, if you can. They kind of come off in little, perfect little sized portions. It's kind of fun. If they are getting tough in the middle, you can go ahead and take a knife and separate them. So, basically we have our florets–and then to deal with the stem. You kind of want to cut off the tough outer skin of this and then you can eat what's in the middle, which is great. (Slices stem along length) So, I usually do it just by slicing, kind of, four times. I lay it down, turn it and slice again. If there are some tough parts I slice again and then, this is what I have, which is very tender and nice. The way I usually deal with this is just to cut it on an angle. (Slices stem lengths) So, I can cut these up like that, and this is completely edible, and I throw this right in wherever I am cooking the broccoli. So, a couple quick ways to cook it that are delicious. The first way I love to do it is to roast it. You take the broccoli, the stem pieces and the florets, toss them with some olive oil, salt and pepper, put them on a baking sheet and roast them at a fairly hot oven. I would say about 400 degrees. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes. They will get just tender and they even get some brown spots, which is a little carmelization, which makes them so, so delicious. So, I have some here–just a little plate of them that I roasted. What I might do when the get out the oven is, I've got a chunk or Parmesan cheese here. (Uses carrot peeler to shave cheese over plate of broccoli) I might take a carrot peeler and just kind of do a few slices of that on top. It will melt a little. Fabulous! You are going to really, really love this one. Then, the second way I might do it is to just sauté it. Take a little bit of butter or olive oil or maybe even a combination of both, a little bit of chopped onion. Sauté that until it is close to done. And by done, you can just test it with a point of a knife to see if it's just starting to get kind of crisp tender. Then at the very end, I've got some going here... (Goes to skillet of broccoli on range top) ...I take just a little bit of chicken broth. Pour that in. It will kind of steam up and as soon as that starts to evaporate you've got a really yummy glaze on the whole thing and it's quite fabulous. I will show you what that looks like. It's really, really good. (Shows skillet of broccoli) Looks like that; so tasty. What I might do just before serving to add a little extra something is maybe a little sprinkle of grated lemon peel on top. That would be fabulous. So, a couple great ways to cook broccoli. Incorporate it into your diet. It's fantastic and I hope you enjoy. UnitedHealthcare