Kitchn Love Letters

Why I Eat Way More Broccoli During the Summer

published May 30, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
A dish of grilled broccoli
Credit: Stephanie Ganz

I’ve always had an affinity for broccoli, despite its less-than-glamorous reputation in the kitchen. Broccoli checks a lot of boxes for me — it’s versatile, affordable, and nutritious, and it’s the starring role in some of my favorite recipes. While folks often consider it a fall/winter vegetable, I like to keep broccoli in rotation year-round to shred in salads and slaw or toss on the grill for a surprisingly substantial side dish.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

What’s So Great About Broccoli?

Produce, especially from the farmers market, can come with a side of sticker shock, but good ol’ broccoli consistently rings up at about $2 per pound, making it a wise choice for budget-conscious meals. Then there are the nutritional benefits: One serving of broccoli has almost 4 grams of fiber, 468 mg of potassium, and more Vitamin C than an orange. But beyond its noteworthy attributes, broccoli is just fun to eat. (If you don’t believe me, check out The Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook by Mollie Katzen, one of the first cookbooks I ever loved.)  

What’s the Best Way to Use Broccoli?

It might feel like a bit of an ’80s health-food throwback, but lately I’ve really enjoyed eating broccoli that’s been simply steamed, served with some kind of dip. I steam a head of broccoli on Sunday and then keep it in the fridge to eat all week with a creamy, herby dip

To the surprise of many, broccoli is also one of my kids’ most requested vegetables. My 11-year-old adores crispy broccoli — either fried or roasted, while my 5-year-old prefers broccoli soup and broccoli quiche. It’s also a personal philosophy of mine that the stalks are just as valuable as the florets, and I make a point to use them whenever possible. My favorite way to use up a bunch of broccoli stems is in soup, but I also love to peel and julienne them for slaw or toss into stir-fries.

For warmer days, I serve broccoli two ways: The first is in a Southern-style broccoli salad — a creamy, nutty, crunchy stalwart of cookouts and potlucks that’s a perfect partner for barbecue. Broccoli is also sturdy enough to stand up to grilling, which softens the stem and chars the florets. With a little sprinkle of Parm and squeeze of lemon, it’s an ideal summer side dish.

Buy: Broccoli, $2.30 per pound at Weee!

What fruit and vegetables are you stocking up on this summer? Tell us about it in the comments below.