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Broccoli

An Overview
Broccoli is a plant of the cabbage family which is grown for its edible immature flower panicles. It is classified as the Italica cultivar group of the species brassica oleracea which also includes vegetables like cauliflower, cabbages, brussels sprouts, turnips and many other Asian greens. The word broccoli means 'little sprouts' in Italian. This unusual looking garden vegetable is widely cultivated in the entire temperate regions.

Broccoli comprises of a number of green coloured fleshy flower heads, which are arranged in a tree-like fashion on branches sprouting from a thick, edible stalk. It was originated in the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor region and was introduced to U.S. probably in colonial times. This cold climate crop is one of the most nutritious of all common vegetables.

 

Plant Description
Broccoli prefers cold climatic conditions and perform best when temperatures remain between 40 degrees and 70 degrees F. (18-23 degrees celsius) during the growing period. This crop of the brassicaceae family does poorly in hot summer weather; and temperatures below 32°F for periods of 36 hours have killed broccoli plants. As far as the soil is concerned, it requires a well drained and fertile soil with 5.7-6.5 pH.

The edible part of the broccoli plant is a tender stem and unopened flower buds. Morphologically both the cauliflower and broccoli are similar, but the latter produces a green head with longer and

more slender floret stalks than cauliflower. Since it is a fast growing succulent plant, it requires even soil moisture. On an average, it requires 1 to 1 ½ inches of water a week.
 

Broccoli is the best example of a fractal pattern vegetable, having a growing a spiral head composed of conical florets which also prove to be spirals upon close examination. Interestingly mathematicians sometimes use this plant to explain the concept of fractals, since it is stunning to look at. The vegetable has a greenish tinge, and giant waxy leaves which can almost entirely conceal the edible heads of the plant.

Nutritional Value
Broccoli contains higher concentrations of minerals and vitamins. Its lower cholesterol level and saturated fats make it a perfectly nutritious diet. Besides maintaining optimum health, it is also

helpful in shedding extra calories. It contains higher concentrations of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, Protein, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium.
 
Popular Recipes
It is one of the most delicious and nutritious vegetables of the world. Following is a brief description of the most renowned recipes of Broccoli:


Shasta Daisy (leucanthemum superbum)

Formerly known as Chrysanthemum maximum,Shasta Daisy produces many beautiful flowers with white petals and distinctively marked yellow center.

  • Broccoli Salad
  • Almond Beef with Broccoli
  • Bacon and Broccoli Salad
  • Baked Broccoli Frittata
  • Beef and Broccoli with Garlic Sauce
  • Broccoli Casserole
  • Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • Broccoli Gratin
  • Broccoli in Oyster Sauce
  • Broccoli Quiche
  • Broccoli Rice Casserole
  • Broccoli Slaw
  • Chicken and Broccoli.
 
 
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