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Varieties : Broccoli

Often called green trees to entice children to eat them, broccoli is actually a flower. You will find this member of the cabbage family from early summer to late fall.They first produce large heads weighing from a half pound to two pounds each. After these are cut the plant productes just as tender but smaller side shoots.

You might want to wash and clean the florets when you get home from the farmers market so they are ready to eat raw or throw in the steamer with other summer vegetables. Refrigerate up to a week. Use a blanching process to freeze.

If your broccoli comes right from the farm, you can expect to find a small cabbage worm from time to time. These are the result of those white "butterflies" you see bouncing over the tops of broccoli plants. They are quickly removed with a cold bath in heavily salted water. Rinse when done and prepare for eating. This is the trade off for reduced spraying practices in growing your food. A small price to pay for local food.

Prized by the Romans, broccoli was developed from cabbage ancestry by the Etruscans. Despite centuries of careful cultivation, broccoli was introduced commercially in the United States only around 1930.

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