The variety of the week is Broccoli!
Broccoli is a great early summer treat! When it gets too hot outside they will bolt. When a plant is in the reproductive stage of its life cycle it will stop putting energy into growing and start putting all of its energy into creating flowers to spread the pollen and further distribute the plant. With Broccoli, bolting literally happens to the entire head; every little green speck on a broccoli floret will turn into a flower if it is in the field long enough.
We don’t use pesticides if we don’t absolutely have to. Broccoli really only has one prominent pest, the broccoli worm. We soak them in water so that the worms will come out to the top, but some might linger behind. I hope that our members can agree, we would rather see a bug or two than be applying some sort of pesticide to treat your produce.
Broccoli has great nutritional value including vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium & iron. It has a special enzyme called sulforaphane which has links to decreasing chances for certain cancers as well.
Broccoli is best used within a few days, store in a plastic bag in the hydrator drawer to keep for up to 5 days. For long term storage, broccoli does freeze very well. Cut the florets from the stem and add them to a boiling pot of water for 3 minutes. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and then simply bag and put in the freezer. This method of preservation is called “blanching” and can be applied to many other crops, like green beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, etc.
Ben & I love using frozen broccoli in the winter, it’s as easy as making our favorite chicken alfredo and adding a bag of frozen broccoli at the very end. Farm fresh flavor all season!
Broccoli Basil Quiche
1 pie pan lined with pie dough (homemade or store bought) 1 cup finely diced broccoli 2 green onions, chopped 1 cup shredded cheddar 1 tbsp. flour 3 eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup half & half or heavy cream 2 tbsp basil pesto ¼ tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper 1/8 tsp garlic powder
Heat oven to 425*. Prick bottom and sides of crust and line with foil. Bake 8 minutes, remove foil, and bake for another 8 minutes. Reduce oven to 325*. Toss broccoli, green onions, cheese, and flour in a bowl. Spread mixture over bottom of the crust. Whisk remaining ingredients in the bowl. Pour filling into crust. Bake until knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.
Broccoli Grape Salad ***This is a recipe I pulled out of my grandmother’s cookbook. I love making this for potlucks, it’s always a big hit!
7-10 strips thick cut bacon (well done, not chewy) 2 heads broccoli 2 cups grapes, sliced in half the long way 1 1/2 cup mayo 1 1/2 tbsp. vinegar ¼ cup + 2 tbsp milk ¼ cup + 2 tbsp sugar 1/3- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds to preference Cut broccoli florets into bite sized pieces. Mix broccoli, bacon, and grapes in a large bowl. Mix mayo, vinegar, sugar, and milk well, pour over broccoli mixture. Add sunflower seeds. Mix well and let sit for 4-6 hours before serving. I usually make mine the day before, then it’s ready to go in the morning.
Have a great rest of your weekend,
~The Farmer’s Wife