Day 155: Never-the-Same Steamed Broccoli ♥

How to trim and steam fresh broccoli, then dress in different ways that are 'never the same'.
graphic button small size size 10 How to trim and steam fresh broccoli, then dress it in different ways that are “never the same”.

~recipe & photo updated 2014~
~more recently updated recipes~

After the success of Day 154's Tomato Bread Pudding IV inspired by StephenCooks, I decided to try his ever-so-simple steamed broccoli. And as you might expect, it's g-o-o-d.

I especially like the technique because:
The broccoli stalks are absolutely delicious so do pay attention to the aggressive trimming instructions – they're worth the time, especially for what happens to the stalks. So often, they're chopped off and even discarded in favor of the more tender and flavorful crowns. I love them cold, eaten out of a bowl like vinegar-free pickles.
The herb and vinegar and oil combinations (what I call the "Never-the-Same" Possibilities) are nearly limitless, making it easy to complement the rest of the meal.
It fits a Six O'Clock Scramble supper schedule OR can be prepped ahead of time.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: maybe 20 minutes
Serves 4

1 pound broccoli

"Never-the-Same" Possibilities, such as:
Olive oil or butter
Fresh herbs
Green onion
Salt & Pepper

Bring an inch of water to boil in a steaming pan. While the water heats, trim the broccoli (instructions by StephenCooks).

"Cut the last 1/4" from the end of the stalks, use a paring knife to trim any gnarly stumps or little branches from the stalks and then, using a vegetable peeler, peel the tough outer skin from the stalks, starting at the base of the flower and going to the end of the stalks. Some larger stalks have a fairly thick skin and may need two passes of the can tell when you got it all when the inner flesh of the stalk is has a softer wet-green look, with no fibers visible and a consistency like a cut radish or potato.

Cut the broccoli into serving portions...I usually cut it crosswise into three pieces - the flower and two pieces of stalk about 2 1/2 - 3" long. Then divide the flowers from each other and halve or quarter the stalk pieces lengthwise. For uniform cooking, the flower stems should be about the same diameter as the quartered or halved stalk pieces."

Transfer broccoli to steamer basket. When the water is boiling, place the basket inside the pan, COVER and let steam for five minutes.

Meanwhile, assemble your Never-the-Same choices in a small bowl. When the five minutes is up, drain the water, return the broccoli to the hot pan, stir in the Never-the-Same choices, COVER the pan and let rest so the broccoli can continue to cook and the flavors meld.

To prep ahead, then cook just before serving: Trim the broccoli and set inside the steaming tray but NOT inside the steaming pan. Assemble the oil/garlic/herbs etc in a small bowl.
The broccoli will not be quite done after only 5 minutes of steaming. So do allow time, after the Never-the-Same choices are added, to COVER and let the broccoli rest for several minutes.
If your family really likes broccoli but prep time just before supper is precious, it might be worth it to trim a couple of pounds on the weekend, then cook it during the week.

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Still Hungry?

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from A Veggie Venture

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from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Hi again Alanna...I'm so honored to be a contributor (again) to the Veggie Venture! everyone who eats at my table eventually realizes, All Praise to the Mighty Brocolli is my're certainly doing your part to help me convert a few new people to the brocolli cause every day...!

    One note...because I like to have it available for salads, quick sides, etc., I frequently do a large amount of brocolli and then, after removing the portion I need immediately and covering it for a few minutes as you describe, I shock the remaining brocolli in cold water to totally stop the cooking. Since as you point out, the 5-minute steaming time leaves the brocolli slightly undercooked, the quick cooling leaves it ready to be reheated without being mushy for then next meal (microwave or quick steam); also, the slightly undercooked brocolli is a nice crunchy addition to salads, where I find fully cooked brocolli to be slightly too keeps really well in a sealed plastic container in the refrigerator, whether seasoned or not...


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna