Broc n’ roll

It’s time to start rockin’ with broccoli.

By Maddie Bane

As the third top-producing country, the United States is by no means short of broccoli. Italian immigrants brought the vegetable over to the States in the 1800s, and its name is actually derived from the Italian word “broccolo,” meaning “the flowering top of a cabbage.” This veggie is grown best in South Carolina during the fall season when temperatures range from 65 to 75 degrees. Regarded as a superfood, broccoli is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals and has even been shown to work as an anti-inflammatory. Read on to learn more about all the goodness broccoli has to offer and the different ways to incorporate it onto your plate.

Nutritional benefits
Broccoli is full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C and K. One cup of broccoli can pack a nutrient-filled punch, even just half of a cup can provide 84 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C. Broccoli can be enjoyed several different ways — boiling, stir-frying, roasting, etc. — but studies show that cooking broccoli can alter its nutrient profile. Steaming seems to be the way to go to avoid too many negative effects.

How to grow them
Broccoli is a cool-season vegetable that grows best in the fall in the Lowcountry. Seeds or transplants should be placed in rows three feet apart and then spaced one to two feet apart. The soil should be well-drained with a sandy loam to clay loam texture. Broccoli is ready for harvesting in typically 50 to 90 days or when the head reaches 3 to 6 inches in diameter.

Where to buy them
Ebenezer Greens: This indoor vertical farm specializes in microgreens, including broccoli. Find them at the Hilton Head Island Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Coastal Discovery Museum.
Farmers Market of Bluffton: Purchase locally grown broccoli from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursdays in Old Town Bluffton.
The Farmers and Makers Market: Find chicken and broccoli frozen casserole available for purchase from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Shops at Sea Pines Center.

Where to order them
Shrimp Hash: Sauteed shrimp, peppers, onions and broccoli with hash browns, topped with two eggs any style and hollandaise.
Pasta Marinara: Sautéed onions, tomatoes, peppers and broccoli tossed with penne pasta, a touch of house-made pesto and finished with Parmesan cheese and Jake Shake seasoning.
The Paisano: Pan-sautéed breaded cutlets topped with provolone cheese, broccoli and lemon garlic mushroom sauce, served with whipped potatoes.

How to use them
Like most vegetables, broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked. When trimming fresh broccoli, be sure to cut as close to the crown as you can. Once the florets break off, you can customize how big or small the pieces will be. While there’s not a whole lot of natural flavor, the leftover stem can actually be sliced and cooked, as well.

Avocado and broccoli salad
1 avocado
2 cups broccoli florets
2 hard boiled eggs
1 cup cucumber slices, halved
Ranch dressing, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS [1] Open and cut avocado into small slices. [2] Dice both eggs into large chunks. [3] In a bowl, mix together avocado, broccoli, egg pieces, and cucumber slices. Once combined, add in salt and pepper and ranch dressing. Stir until pieces are coated.

Broccoli egg cups
10 eggs
2 cups broccoli, steamed
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sprouts, to garnish
DIRECTIONS [1] Preheat oven to 350 degrees. [2] Whisk together eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Add in broccoli. [3] Distribute mixture evenly into a greased muffin pan. Top with sprouts and bake for 20 minutes or until set.

Cheesy broccoli pancakes

1 head broccoli
1 egg
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Cooking spray
DIRECTIONS [1] Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet. [2] Chop broccoli into florets, discarding the hard part of stem. Place broccoli pieces into food processor and pulse until chopped. Add in egg, flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parmesan and pulse until well combined. [3] Form 8-10 pancakes and place on baking sheet after coating with cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes on each side.

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