The Freshness: Bye Bye Brocolli
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The Freshness: Bye Bye Brocolli

Broccoli.jpgFor nigh on a decade now, Torontoist has stood firm in her conviction that a fridge without a head of broccoli is like an island without an airport, which here means, “almost no one feels ambivalent about it.” Former republican presidents hate it. Catherine de Medici made it a star. All we can do is tell you how to choose and care for it, and try to keep the controversy swilling.
What’s most important for Toronto to recognize about the broccoli issue right now is that it’s grown locally and it’s still in season, but we’ve only got a few weeks left until it and a few other treasured greens abandon Toronto to a long dark winter of roots and cabbage-like things.
That means that residents on the pro side would do well to set out to a local farmer’s market in search of tight buds, bright greyish-green leaves and paler, slender yellowy-green stems. Avoid those thick stems– they have woody tendancies– and if the buds are blooming or the florets are yellow, watch out! It’s too late for that head; save yourself.
Run, don’t walk that broccoli home to the fridge, stash it in a perforated bag, and revel in the fact that you can probably keep it there for up to five days— plenty of time to reach household consensus on how to prepare and serve it.
You can toss it in a stir fry with noodles, throw it in a casserole, or for a tangy treat, just eat it on its own with some lemon and salt. But whatever you do, make sure you cook it only to the point where it just barely becomes tender. This is achievable within roughly ten minutes of steaming or microwaving florets in up to half a cup of water. To do otherwise would be to risk the further spread of broccoli hate, and Ontario’s farmers do not need that.
Some might ask, what can broccoli do for me? Nutritionists report that in addition to an acquired perception of deliciousness, broccoli will deliver Vitamin C (great for the encroaching cold season), Vitamin A (bone growth & co), folacin (helps form red blood cells and that all-important genetic material ), potassium (relaxes leg cramps contracted while running with broccoli, above) and a hefty side course of fibre (filling, makes nice poop), even to those constituents who do not favour its bitter, crunchy stance.