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Food glossary

Broccoli

Broccoli

A member of the cabbage family, broccoli, with its tiny green florets, is also known as calabrese (it is from the Calabria region of Italy). Choose bright green stems for the best flavour. Ready-prepared broccoli florets are also available.

Uses: Serve cooked broccoli as an accompanying vegetable dressed with melted butter or a drizzle of olive oil or blanched in salads or in stir-fried dishes. Cooked broccoli florets are also a popular addition to pasta bakes and sauces.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Broccoli should be used when it is as fresh as possible.

To prepare: Broccoli is sold ready-trimmed so there is very little wastage, trim the stalk and discard any tough leaves attached to the stalk but leave any small tender ones. Cut into florets and rinse them in cold water.

To cook: Broccoli can be boiled, steamed or stir-fried, it is easy to overcook - it should still retain its bright green colour when cooked and should have a little 'bite'.

The cooking time will depend on the size of the florets and your personal taste. To boil, place in a pan of boiling water and cook the florets for 6-8 minutes. To steam, place in a steamer over boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes. Broccoli to be stir-fried should be separated into bite-sized florets, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and add the florets, cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender.

Purple sprouting

This is a slender variety of broccoli, with long stalks and small purple flower heads. The leaves, heads and stalks are all edible. Prepacked purple sprouting broccoli is sold in Waitrose, choose from Purple sprouting broccoli (400g) or Purple sprouting broccoli spears (200g).

Uses: Serve cooked purple sprouting broccoli as an accompanying vegetable dressed with melted butter or a drizzle of olive oil or in stir-fried dishes.

To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To prepare: Discard any tough leaves and rinse in cold water before cooking.

To cook: Purple sprouting broccoli can be boiled, steamed or stir-fried, the cooking time will depend on the size of the stalks and florets and your personal taste. To boil, place in a pan of boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes. To steam, place in a steamer over boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes. To stir-fry heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, add the broccoli and cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender.