How to Cut Broccoli Into Florets

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Learn how to cut broccoli into florets with this simple tutorial. This step-by-step tutorial will help teach you to cut florets and make preparing your broccoli so much easier. 

A head of broccoli to be cut.

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If you’re looking for a way to enjoy broccoli in your next meal, cutting it into florets is an easy and tasty way to do so. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced home cook, this article will provide simple instructions that any chef can follow. You’ll learn how to prepare the broccoli, what tools you need, and step-by-step directions for creating perfect florets.

Everyday Health has some creative tips on incorporating more broccoli into your diet at home.

What Is Broccoli?

Broccoli is a nutrient-rich vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family. It’s an edible green plant, high in vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber. Believe it or not, broccoli was first cultivated over 2000 years ago in the Mediterranean region. Its scientific name, Brassica oleracea, comes from the Latin terms for cabbage (Brassica) and “to be useful” (oleracea). The tasty green veggie has been enjoyed around the world ever since!

Chopping off the stem of the broccoli.

Types of Broccoli

There are four main varieties of broccoli: Calabrese, Purple Sprouting, White Sprouting, and Broccoli Rabe. The most common type of broccoli is green broccoli or Calabrese. Calabrese has large, green heads with thick stalks, Purple Sprouting broccoli has thin stalks and small, purple heads, White Sprouting broccoli has slender stalks and tiny white flowers, and Broccoli Rabe resembles broccoli, but does not form a large head.

Finished Broccoli florets on a cutting board.

Benefits of Broccoli

Broccoli is a nutrient dense vegetable that is widely consumed due to its many health benefits. It belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables, which are known for their cancer-fighting properties and other health benefits. Research shows eating broccoli regularly can offer a wide range of health benefits, from boosting immunity to improving heart health.

Broccoli also contains unique antioxidants called glucosinolates which help protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress. This may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease while also promoting healthy brain function.

How to Cut Broccoli Into Florets

STEP 1: Cut and Remove the Base

On your cutting board, lay the head of broccoli on its side. 

With your non-dominant hand, hold the head so the broccoli’s stem points towards your cutting hand. 

With your knife, cut a few inches through the base of the broccoli just below where the smaller stems meet each other. 

Cutting the broccloi.

STEP 2: Break Into Large Pieces

Once your stem is removed, you can break apart larger pieces of broccoli florets with your hands. 

This saves you some time by lessening the amount of cuts you have to make and creates more manageable pieces to work with. 

STEP 3: Cut Bunches Into Florets

Now that you’re ready to cut, stand the head of broccoli up on the cut edge of the stem and place your knife in the divot where the floret stem meets the stalk. 

You will then make a cut down the stalk at the stem’s intersection. 

Continue this until you reach the top of the head of broccoli. You can continue cutting depending on the size of florets you would like to use.

Cutting close to the heads of the broccoli.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Select the Best Broccoli

It’s important to choose a head of broccoli with bright green florets and firm stalks. Look for one that is free from yellowing or brown spots as these could be signs of age or poor storage conditions. Additionally, when pressed gently between your fingers, the stalk should still be tender yet crisp and not soft or limp. Check the stem at its base – it should still be moist and not dry or cracked as this would indicate old age.

How to Clean Broccoli

First, run the florets under cool water for at least two minutes. If you want an extra thorough clean, submerge them in a bowl of cold water for five minutes. Use your hands to gently scrub off any remaining dirt or debris then dry them with a paper towel or cloth towel. Once the florets are dry, check for any remaining bugs that may still be lingering on the surface of the vegetable. If necessary, run them under cool water again until they’re all gone before proceeding to cook.

How Long is/are Broccoli Good For?

Properly stored, broccoli lasts three to five days in the refrigerator cooked or raw. Once raw broccoli is chopped, though, it tends to go bad in about two days.

How to Properly Store Broccoli?

t’s important to make sure that the broccoli is completely dry before storing it. Moisture will cause the florets to spoil quickly, so remove any excess water with a paper towel or cloth before placing it in the refrigerator. If possible, try to store it in an airtight container—this will help preserve its flavor and texture better than regular plastic wrap or bags do.

Florets after being drained.

Expert Tips for How to Cut Broccoli Into Florets

  • How to Minimize The Mess When Cutting Broccoli: When cutting broccoli, it’s easy for the kitchen to become a chaotic mess. Stray pieces of broccoli are often found across the counter and can take time to clean up. But with a few simple tips, it’s possible to minimize the mess when chopping this healthy vegetable.
  • Tip 1: Keep a damp cloth close by to wipe down any loose pieces when cutting
  • Tip 2 : Use caution when handling sharp knives as chopping vegetables may create a lot of friction 
  • Tip 3: Take your time: cut slowly and steadily until you reach your desired shape of the florets
  • Recommended Tools & Equipment:
    • Cutting Board
    • Chef’s Knife
    • Colander or Bowl

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A head of broccoli to be cut.
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How to Cut Broccoli Into Florets

Yield: 1
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Learn how to cut broccoli into florets with this simple tutorial. This step-by-step tutorial will help teach you to cut florets and make preparing your broccoli so much easier.
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Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 head Broccoli

Instructions

  • STEP 1: Cut And Remove The Base 
    On your cutting board, lay the head of broccoli on its side.
    With your non-dominant hand, hold the head so the broccoli’s stem points towards your cutting hand.
    Using your knife, cut a few inches through the base of the broccoli just below where the smaller stems meet each other.
  • STEP 2: Break Into Large Pieces
    Once your stem is removed, you can break apart larger pieces of broccoli florets with your hands.
    This saves you some time by lessening the amount of cuts you have to make and creates more manageable pieces to work with.
  • STEP 3: Cut Bunches Into Florets
    Now that you’re ready to cut, stand the head of broccoli up on the cut edge of the stem and place your knife in the divot where the floret stem meets the stalk.
    You will then make a cut down the stalk at the stem’s intersection.
    Continue this until you reach the top of the head of broccoli. You can continue cutting depending on the size of florets you would like to use.

Expert Tips

 

  • How to Minimize The Mess When Cutting Broccoli: When cutting broccoli, it’s easy for the kitchen to become a chaotic mess. Stray pieces of broccoli are often found across the counter and can take time to clean up. But with a few simple tips, it’s possible to minimize the mess when chopping this healthy vegetable.
  • Tip 1: Keep a damp cloth close by to wipe down any loose pieces when cutting
  • Tip 2 : Use caution when handling sharp knives as chopping vegetables may create a lot of friction 
  • Tip 3: Take your time: cut slowly and steadily until you reach your desired shape of the florets

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 1921mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3788IU | Vitamin C: 542mg | Calcium: 286mg | Iron: 4mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American

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