Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked. Place it in a colander and rinse it thoroughly before preparing. Unless the stalks are especially tender, cut off the thick base of the stalks and peel them. Cut the head into florets. Raw broccoli can be used for crudites served with dips, or can be added to salads. When adding broccoli to cold grain salads, blanch it first by boiling for just two minutes. Then drain and rinse immediately with cold water. This brightens the color of the broccoli and develops the flavor.
To cook broccoli, first cut into bite-sized pieces.
Boil broccoli in lightly salted water until just tender crisp, about four minutes.
Steam pieces about five minutes and whole stalks of broccoli for about ten minutes, until tender-crisp.
Saute in olive oil with garlic and herbs until tender-crisp, about ten minutes. Sauteed broccoli can be tossed with cooked pasta and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Cook on High for five minutes; then let stand for three minutes before serving.
Flavors that go well with broccoli are basil, caraway seed, curry powder, dill, fresh lemon juice, herb-infused vinegar, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, and thyme.