Farmers Market Broccoli
With June comes the start of summer and an abundance of fresh produce available at farmers markets across Oldham County. One in-season produce offering that you may not necessarily associate with late spring and early summer is broccoli.
Broccoli actually has two growing seasons in Kentucky. Kentucky growers began harvesting their first crop in May and will continue to harvest through early July. The second season ends with a harvest in the late fall.
You can steam, boil and microwave broccoli – or even enjoy it raw. As you will see in the Plate It up! Kentucky Proud recipe that follows, it can give a flavorful and healthy twist to popular summer dishes.
Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables that you can eat. It is a good source of vitamins A and C, beta carotene, folic acid and phytochemicals. Due to their high antioxidant levels, researchers recommend you consume several servings of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts) several times a week. A diet high in antioxidants can reduce your risk of developing some forms of cancer as well as heart disease.
When shopping at the market, choose broccoli that has tender, young, dark-green stalks with tightly closed buds. If you purchase about one and one-half pounds of broccoli, you’ll get four, one-half cup servings. Store broccoli, unwashed, in the refrigerator for no more than three to five days in a perforated plastic bag. Wash just before preparing to maintain its texture and prevent mold from forming.
Contact the Oldham County Extension office for more information on ways to prepare in-season produce and local farmers market offerings. Find Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud recipes online, or contact the extension office for recipe cards.
Broccoli Grape Pasta Salad
Broccoli Salad Ingredients
- 3/4 cup diced pecans
- 8 ounces whole grain pasta (bow tie or other)
- 5 slices turkey bacon
- 2 cups seedless red grapes
- 1 pound fresh broccoli
- 3/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Broccoli Salad Directions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for five to seven minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
- Prepare eight ounces of pasta according to package directions.
- Cook bacon according to package directions. Cool and crumble into small pieces.
- Cut the broccoli florets from the stems and separate florets into small pieces using the tip of a paring knife.
- Slice two cups of grapes into halves.
- Whisk together mayonnaise, honey, diced red onion and vinegar in a large mixing bowl.
- Add broccoli, cooked pasta and grapes; stir to coat.
- Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Stir in bacon crumbles and diced pecans, just before serving.
Nutritional Analysis: 160 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 4 g protein.
Yield: 16, 1/2-cup servings
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Written by Heather Norman-Burgdolf, Assistant Extension Professor. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.