On-AirVirginia This Morning


VIRGINIA THIS MORNING: Cooking with Broccoli

Posted at 12:36 PM, Mar 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-28 12:36:09-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) - It’s a seasonal vegetable that is packed with vitamins.  Culinary Expert Elise Johnson shares two quick, tasty and healthy dishes of Broccoli.

Shaved Broccoli Salad

2 heads of broccoli, washed

3 tablespoons of roasted sunflower seeds for texture and crunch

Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, flax seed oil or melted butter

Drizzle of fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or freshly grated black pepper

Kosher salt and pepper

1/4 cup currants, optional

Cutting your broccoli

Cut the broccoli florets off of your stem. The stem contains a large amount of nutrients. I use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer part of the stem which can be tough and bumpy. Cut the stem in half and carefully cut into slices. To cut the florets, place each floret green side down on your cutting board. Carefully cut into thirds starting from the bottom. Do not cut all the way or you will lose much of the green part. Cut two thirds of the way through and then simple tear apart. This will keep all of the green tops on. You will end up with pretty flat pieces of broccoli ready to be steamed.


Boil 1/4-inch of water in a 3-quart saucepan. Place both the florets and the stems into the pan and cover. Steam for 3 minutes or until almost tender. I like a  little bite — no mushy veggies for this girl’s family.

Remove from the pan and immediately place in an ice water bath. This will stop the cooking process and help to retain the broccoli’s lovely green color. Place into a serving dish. In a small bowl, combine one of the three combinations listed above. Remember, not too much oil.

TIP: If you do not own a steamer insert, simply use a metal or heatproof colander large enough to sit on top of a saucepan. You can also steam your vegetables in the microwave by placing your vegetables in a microwavable-safe bowl. Put a little water into the bowl and cover with another bowl.

Roasted Broccoli with Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 heads of broccoli, florets separated and each one cut in half

Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (I like the olive oil that has been infused with garlic, but extra virgin is fine)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or freshly grated black pepper

A bit of kosher salt and pepper

Zest of one large lemon

Freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese


Lay a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of a broiler or roasting pan.

Cut your broccoli florets in half. Place your broccoli in a bowl. This will help you create a beautiful brown crust on your broccoli. Drizzle a little olive  oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, red pepper flakes and freshly grated Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese.

Lay the flat sides of your broccoli florets down in your pan. Laying the flat sides down will help them get nicely browned.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until just browned or caramelized on the tops and edges.

Immediately zest one lemon over your broccoli.