The Chopping Mistake You've Probably Always Made With Broccoli

Anyone who has ever attempted to chop a head of raw broccoli has likely also cleaned up the resulting mess. It never fails that small, green florets scatter all over the countertop and floor. Of course, the woody stalk can be challenging to cut through too. But what if there was an easier, cleaner way to chop this stubborn vegetable? Well, there is. Best of all, correcting your broccoli-chopping mistake simply requires switching up the order of steps. No need for any extra work.

The key to easier chopped broccoli is actually boiling the broccoli head whole. And for an even simpler broccoli retrieval, you might consider steaming the broccoli in a metal colander placed inside a pot of boiling water. It might seem unconventional, but this method is an absolute game-changer. By cooking the broccoli first, it softens. And with a softer head of broccoli, you eliminate tough stalks and unruly florets, which makes the trimming process significantly tidier.

How to put this easy broccoli hack to use

If you're still not entirely confident in switching up your broccoli routine, it's quite simple. After thoroughly washing your broccoli, add the whole head to a large pot of boiling, salted water. Let the broccoli cook for around five minutes until it is tender. Once the broccoli is cooked, use tongs to remove it from the water and place the head on a cutting board. 

With the broccoli prepared, you can easily use a knife to cut the florets away from the stalk. You might not even have to use a knife for some florets. With a soft, cooked stalk, some broccoli florets may readily fall or pull away on their own. This is particularly helpful since the broccoli will be very hot after being removed from the boiling water — too hot to touch right away.

So, next time you're faced with the daunting task of prepping broccoli, consider this boil-first approach. It's an easy way to minimize kitchen mess and say hello to effortlessly chopped, nutrient-packed broccoli.