As we move into the summer it is time for things to start getting ready to be pulled out of the garden.  Undoubtedly we have all pulled a number of things up so far.  Radishes and salad greens tend to be some of the first harvests, but just as we’ve done for some other garden goodies, like butternut squash and watermelon it is time to take a look at broccoli.

How Did I Grow Broccoli This Year

Growing BroccoliThis year I started with some broccoli transplants and then added a few direct seeded plants.  I can tell you that my transplants got their leaves to a rather large size, one of my missions is to see if I can use those leaves for something else.  But then again, even if I can’t I’m guessing the ducks might enjoy them.

If you are out checking your garden somewhat regularly you’ll notice a little crown of broccoli start to form.  This will continue to get bigger and form a nice tight crown.  Then you will start to wonder, should I pick it now or do I wait a bit longer.

Time to Harvest Broccoli

Growing BroccoliYou can truly harvest your broccoli whenever you see the crown form.  The longer you let it grow the bigger it will end up getting though.  Once it reaches a fairly good size you’ll want to keep an eye on the color.  If you notice that it is beginning to show yellow spots that is your signal that it needs to be picked right away.  That is the broccoli preparing to go to seed.

You’ll want to use a knife to cut off the crowns that you are harvesting but leave the plant to continue growing.  The plant will continue to grow more crowns so that you and your family can continue to enjoy the veggie all through the season.

How to Cook Broccoli

Growing BroccoliYou can serve broccoli a number of different ways.  Like anything from the garden, you’ll want to wash it off before looking to eat it.  After that, you have choices to make.  You can just serve it raw, perhaps with some kind of dip or you can cook it in any number of different ways.  Here is how we like to prepare it.

Heat your oven to somewhere around 425 (I’ve done 400 and 450 at times).

Cut your washed broccoli crown into bite sized florets.

Spread them over a sheet pan.

Drizzle with toasted sesame oil

Cook long enough, you probably want to check after 20 minutes, you want them to be cooked, some people like a slight char on the tips, others prefer to pull them before that point.

 

I’d like to hear from you, are you growing broccoli this year in your garden?  How do you prepare it?  Let me know in the comments section below.