These three vegetables are all members of the
Brassica genus. Though available year round, they
are at their best in the late summer and fall.
When buying broccoli, look for dark green
bunches without any trace of yellowing. The stalks
and any leaves should be crisp. Occasionally, I see
purple broccoli in the market. The flavor is about
the same as the green variety, and it should be
purchased and cooked the same way. Romanesco
broccoli is a bright chartreuse color with a beautiful
pointed shape that resembles a seashell. It is
slightly milder in taste than regular broccoli.
Broccoli rabe, sometimes called broccoli raab
or rape (pronounced rah-peh), is more widely available
now than it was a few years ago. It resembles
a leggy version of broccoli, with smaller heads and
narrow stems. It too should be crisp and green.
Sometimes broccoli rabe has a few yellow flowers,
which are edible, but there should be no more
than a few open flowers or the broccoli may be too
mature. Broccoli rabe has a pleasant bitter flavor
that I find addictive.
Cauliflower ranges in color from creamy white
to orange and purple. The heads should be firm
and unbruised. Broccoflower is a combination of
broccoli and cauliflower with a mild flavor.
Wash broccoli, brcoccoli rabe, and cauliflower
in cool water and trim off and discard any
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