Sometimes dishes that require the least amount of ingredients are the most difficult to perfect. Take fresh broccoli: If you steam or boil it for a few minutes, the tops often cook faster than the stalks, leaving you with a veggie that looks dull, and worst of all, is mushy. This problem always plagued me, until a simple new trick for how to steam broccoli came into my life!
The experts at TipBuzz shared this neat hack for steaming broccoli: First, you steam the stems! This gives them a head start, as they’re more dense than the florets and require more time to cook. Not a fan of broccoli stems? Trust us, eating this part of the broccoli is worth it, as it’s where the most fiber is found. Plus, the stems add a crunchy contrast to the dish, so it’s healthy and delicious at the same time!
I tried out this steaming method using a crown of broccoli that I washed thoroughly before separating into stems and florets. The key is to cut as close as you can to the florets without having them end up in a million tiny pieces. Don’t worry if there’s a little bit of stem remaining on the floret, as long as you’ve removed the majority of it.
Next, I filled a pan with an inch of water, added a pinch of salt, and placed it on the stove at medium heat. I used a pan because it was wide enough for the broccoli florets to have plenty of space to evenly steam. However, a pot works just fine too. Also, one inch of water is the right amount to create steam without ending up with watery broccoli (yuck!).
Once the water came to a boil, I added the broccoli stems to the pot and covered them with a lid to cook for two minutes. Then I added the florets to the pan and put the lid on for another three minutes.
After a total of five minutes, the broccoli was a vibrant green and ready to season with a pinch of salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of butter. Tasting a forkful of the broccoli, I loved how the stems were tender with a slight crunch and the florets were soft without being mushy. Plus, the speedy cooking time maintained the broccoli’s fresh taste.
I can truly say this tip was a game-changer for me — my broccoli was the furthest thing from being overcooked and flavorless! I’ll definitely be using it any time I want to add some more green veggies to my meal.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.