Choose the smallest spears you can, firm not floppy, with no yellowing on leaves or flowerhead. The cut end of the broccoli should not be wizened or slimy.
Look out for Romanesco broccoli, with futuristic-looking lime green, pointed heads, and white sprouting broccoli, like tiny cauliflowers on stems.
Weight for weight, broccoli has as much calcium as milk.
Sprouted broccoli seeds are regarded as the most super of super foods by nutritionists,
with their unusually large amounts of cancer fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals.
To Cook Purple Sprouting Broccoli
First trim off the woody stem bases, leaving finger-length shoots. Then remove any damaged or tough looking leaves, and wash the broccoli thoroughly. It can then be either steamed or boiled in lightly salted water until just tender.
Early purple sprouting broccoli is such a delicacy that it can be eaten as a course on its own, like asparagus. To serve broccoli asparagus-style, with hollandaise sauce, remove all the leaves and use a potato peeler to strip the outer layer off the lower part of the stalks. Then cook in an asparagus steamer or propped upright in a pan, so that the stems are immersed in the boiling water while the flower heads cook in the steam. Drain well, and lay on warm plates, trickling over the hollandaise.