Steamed broccoli is a wonderfully easy and nutritious dish. Luckily, steaming broccoli is super easy – whether you do it in a pan, with a steamer, or in a microwave.
Steaming softens broccoli's sometimes bitter edge and coaxes out its inner sweet and nutty flavor. Top steamed broccoli with a bit of salt and pepper, a pat of butter to meld with its earthy flavor, a sprinkle of soy sauce or tamari for something simple yet delicious, or a drizzle of toasted sesame oil to really highlight its nuttiness.
(Of course, you could go crazy and top it with cheese sauce.)
How to Steam Broccoli In a Pan
This is by far the easiest way to steam broccoli that also leads to the perfect texture. Bring about 1/4 inch of water to a boil in a large frying pan. Add about 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and at least a handful and up to 2 pounds of broccoli florets. Cover and steam until as tender as you like (about 3 minutes for crisp-tender and up to 8 minutes for completely cooked, soft florets).
One dish, real steam, and great tasting broccoli.
How to Steam Broccoli In a Steamer Basket
The classic method of steaming uses a steamer basket or insert. Bring about an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of a pot into which your steamer basket or insert fits. Put trimmed and cleaned broccoli florets in the steamer basket, set over the boiling water, cover, and steam until tender to the bite, again about 3 for crisp-tender and up to to 8 minutes for fully tender florets.
A little bit more work because of the extra dish to clean, but also fabulous results.
How to Steam Broccoli In a Microwave
Steaming broccoli in a microwave is certainly quick and convenient. It must be noted, however, that it is more difficult to get vegetables steamed to a precise and even level of doneness.
Put freshly washed broccoli florets with water still clinging to them in a large bowl, a small pool of water should form in the bottom of the bowl quite quickly. If you don't see water in the bottom of the bowl, add a tablespoon of water. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or plate (avoid plastic wrap in microwaves), and cook on high power for 1 minute. Test for doneness and repeat at 30-second intervals until the broccoli is steamed to your liking. Broccoli steamed in a microwave may require a bit of draining or drying depending on how much liquid you used and how powerful your microwave is.
Seems easier, but to get broccoli steamed to the texture you want, this method tends to be a tad fussier than the others. Still a solid choice, though.
Looking for something a bit different? Try this Roasted Broccoli.