Back to Basics: Broccoli

Name: Broccoli; comes from the Latin word brachium which means "branch or "arm".

Origins: Belongs in the cabbage family, and is native to the Mediterranean. It was first introduced to America by Italian immigrants over 200 years ago.

Peak Season: October through April.

Nutritional Value: Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse known for its cancer-fighting properties, cholesterol lowering benefits, and vitamin-rich elements. High in vitamin C, A, K, fiber, iron, potassium and calcium, broccoli has a nutritional content that is healthy in so many ways.

Prep: Pick heads that have tight florets and stalks that are firm and not dried out. Store broccoli in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, and wash only right before use. The nutritional values of broccoli are significantly lowered when boiled or overcooked. To preserve the valuable nutrients, eat broccoli raw, steamed, roasted, or sauteed. And don't toss the stems! The stems are actually higher in fiber than the florets and are great used in soup, salads, or cut into sticks for your favorite dip or hummus.

Recipe: Broccoli Slaw with Tahini Dressing