Steam cooking is a very common technique and involves bringing the water to a boil to exploit the steam; in this way the vegetables cook perfectly and become soft. Fresh broccoli is delicious when prepared with this technique but, if you make a mistake, it can lose its color and become mushy. In this article you will be able to read how to steam broccoli on the stove or in the microwave; you will also find good advice on toppings.
- Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
- Cooking time: 4-5 minutes
- Total time: 20 minutes
Method 1 of 4: Preparation
Step 1. Choose fresh vegetables with bright green tufts and slightly lighter stems
Look for broccoli that hasn't turned brown and avoid wilted or bruised ones. The inflorescences must be well compacted together.
You can also steam frozen vegetables without needing to defrost them in advance
Step 2. Wash the broccoli
Rinse them carefully under cold running water and scrub them with your fingers to get rid of dirt and other residues.
Frozen vegetables should not be washed, as they have already been cleaned before packaging
Step 3. Cut the broccoli into wisps
Put the whole vegetable on the cutting board and separate the various inflorescences with a sharp knife. Consider adding the appropriately cut stem as well, because it is very healthy to eat and its texture creates a pleasant contrast with that of the buds.
Frozen broccoli is usually sold pre-cut. However, check that they are the size you want and, if necessary, cut them into smaller pieces
Method 2 of 4: On the Stove
Step 1. Fill a pot with about 2-3 cm of water at the bottom
You'll need to use it for steaming broccoli, so make sure it's large enough for the basket and vegetables. Put the pan on the stove.
Step 2. Insert the steamer basket into the pot
It must not come into contact with water.
- If you don't have the specific basket, then you can use a metal colander.
- In the absence of a colander, you can put the broccoli directly into the water, but check that there are only a few tablespoons of liquid. Check that the vegetables are not completely submerged.
Step 3. Heat the water to bring it to a simmer
Turn on the stove, set the heat to medium-high and wait for it to start simmering.
Step 4. Add the broccoli to the basket
Arrange them evenly and, if you wish, you can also add salt, pepper or butter. If you want more dressing suggestions, click here.
Step 5. Cover the pot with its lid and allow the vegetables to steam for 4-5 minutes
Check from time to time to prevent them from overcooking.
To check the doneness, you can pierce the vegetables with a fork; if it penetrates without difficulty, the broccoli is cooked
Step 6. Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the vegetables to a serving tray
Be careful when lifting the lid and don't lean over the stream of steam, as it could hit your face and burn you.
Consider seasoning broccoli with salt, pepper, or garlic. Follow this link to read more ideas
Method 3 of 4: In the Microwave
Step 1. Place the buds of the vegetable in a microwave safe bowl
They should not be pressed and should not protrude from the edge of the container.
Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, or butter. You can find more information in this link
Step 2. Add some water
You need about 50ml of water for every 500g of broccoli.
Step 3. Cover the container
Use a lid that has no metal elements. Alternatively, use a plate, making sure it fits snugly over the bowl opening.
- Do not use the transparent film. While not dangerous, it may melt and the holes will let the steam escape, preventing the broccoli from cooking properly.
- Do not use aluminum foil to cover the bowl, as it is not a safe material to use in the microwave.
Step 4. Run the appliance at maximum power for 3-4 minutes
You can check the doneness after two and a half minutes by removing the container from the oven and pricking the vegetables with a fork. If the broccoli is soft and tender, then it is cooked; if they are still hard, you will need to put them back in the microwave and cook them a little longer.
Step 5. Remove the vegetables from the microwave
Arrange them on a serving tray and serve them while they are still hot. Do not mix them, otherwise they will lose their color.
You can season them with salt, pepper or garlic; read the advice you find in this link for more information
Method 4 of 4: Seasonings and Flavors
Step 1. Flavor the water
Before heating it, you can flavor it with soy sauce or lemon juice. The steam, in turn, will transfer these delicate flavors to the vegetables.
Step 2. Season the broccoli before cooking
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the vegetables with this mixture before cooking them.
Step 3. Add butter before or after cooking
Remember to mix the pieces of vegetables well so that they are evenly coated with the melted butter.
Step 4. Flavor the broccoli with herbs and spices after cooking
Sprinkle them with garlic powder, salt and pepper just before serving. You can also use herbs like dill, parsley, or thyme.
Step 5. Enhance the flavor of your dish with a little garlic
Add it, chopped or sliced, before or after cooking the broccoli. You can also sauté broccoli in a pan with garlic and olive oil.
Step 6. Flavor the broccoli with the fresh lemon flavor
After cooking them, season them with the zest or a few slices of lemon.
Step 7. Sprinkle them with grated cheese once they are cooked and hot
The cheese will melt slightly and, at this point, you can mix the broccoli a little to mix them. Try a mixture of grated Parmesan and garlic powder.