All the broccoli!!

I don’t know if you all have noticed when picking up your CSA shares, but we have SO MUCH BROCCOLI!! Why? Because Nancy is the Broccoli Queen of the Valley. Also because we planted too much because we inaccurately predicted the dining hall’s need for broccoli this fall. So…. here we are with all this delicious green goodness, which we are passing on to you, fortunate CSA members!

Wondering what to do it all? Below are two delicious recipes (one for broccoli salad and another for sesame ginger chicken and broccoli), as well as instructions on how to blanch and freeze it for future use.

Broccoli Salad (gluten-free, contains dairy, nuts (opt.) and bacon(opt.))

broccoli salad

by Nancy Hanson

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes if including bacon, otherwise none



2 heads broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces

3/4 cup red onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups halved red grapes

1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

4 slices bacon – cooked and crumbled (optional)



½ cup buttermilk

½ cup plain yogurt

2 tbs chopped chives

1 tbs lemon juice

2 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper

¼ tsp salt



If using bacon, fry it on med-high heat in a skillet for about 10 minutes or until done. Flip half-way through. When finished, put it on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb the grease. Drain the remaining grease from the skillet into a metal container, such as an empty can of beans. As mentioned in last week’s post about cooking oils, do NOT pour it down the sink! You can save the bacon grease to cook with later, or discard it once it has cooled.

While the bacon is cooking and cooling down, prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, onion, grapes, and cheese.

Separately, whisk together the dressing ingredients, and then toss with the broccoli mixture.

Toss in almonds and bacon (if using) and serve.


Sesame ginger chicken and broccoli over rice

(contains meat and soy – opt. vegan and gluten-free)

chicken and broccoli stir fry closeup

by Reeve Gutsell

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves 4-6

Note: If you have a wok, you can stir-fry the meat and vegetables. Traditional stir-frying involves heating the oil on high heat and cooking quickly, moving ingredients from the bottom (hottest) to the sloped sides (less hot) as needed. This cooking technique does not work particularly well in frying pans, with their more-evenly-heated flat bottoms and short sides.



3-4 tbs canola oil

1 med onion, sliced

1 sm-med head broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 chicken thighs (or breasts) sliced into bite-sized pieces – optional. Could use tofu or tempeh instead.

3-4 carrots, sliced into rounds. Could add or substitute green beans, snow peas, etc.

1 thumb-sized chunk of ginger, chopped small

1/2 pepper (any color), sliced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small box of mushrooms (any type), sliced

3-4 tsp sesame oil

3-4 tsp soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free if needed)

salt and pepper to taste

3-4 tsp toasted sesame seeds


For the rice:

1 1/2 cups white rice

3 cups water

dash salt or 1-2 cubes of bullion of your choice



In a large pot, start the rice by bringing the water and salt (or bullion) to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the rice, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer. Stir once when you initially add the rice and not again. Cook approximately 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water is gone from the pot. Remove from the heat, uncover, and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, add the canola oil and the sliced onion and cook on medium until the onion is softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken (or tofu or tempeh), the carrots, the broccoli, and the ginger. Cover with a lid and cook another 3-5 min, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is starting to soften and the chicken is mostly done. Remove the lid and add the pepper, garlic, mushrooms, sesame oil, soy/tamari sauce, and the salt and pepper. Saute an additional 3-4 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the broccoli is tender. When you are ready to serve, add the toasted sesame seeds to the vegetable mixture at the last minute and serve over the rice.


How to freeze broccoli

chopped broccoli on a cutting board

by Reeve Gutsell

Broccoli freezes extremely well, as long as you blanch it first. Blanching inactivates the natural enzymes that can cause off-flavors, as well as preserving color, flavor, and nutritional value over time.

Prep time: 5 minutes, or as long as it takes the water to boil

Cook and cool down time: 4-6 minutes

Freeze time: 1 hour


What you will need

A large pot of water

A large bowl of ice water

A colander

One (or more) cookie sheets, depending on how much broccoli you have

Space in your freezer to put the cookie sheet(s)

Freezer baggie(s) and a marker



Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

While you are waiting for the water to boil, wash the broccoli and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Also prepare a large bowl of ice water and put it, and the colander, in the sink.

When the water boils, immerse the broccoli for 2 minutes. The broccoli should turn bright green and be slightly tender but not cooked through.

Dump the broccoli into the colander to drain off the hot water, and then dump it immediately into the ice water.

Once the broccoli has been plunged into the ice water, allow it to cool 2-3 minutes.

Drain the iced broccoli in the colander for 1-2 minutes, shaking the colander occasionally to allow additional water to drain.

Spread the broccoli evenly onto a cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet into the freezer and freeze for an hour or so.

Remove the broccoli from the cookie sheet and put it into freezer bags for longer-term storage. Try to remove as much air as possible from the bag(s), which will reduce freezer burn. Label the bag(s) with the contents and the date.

That’s it, you’re done! Now you have saved all of that broccoli goodness for the winter, when it is cold and dark and you are craving delicious green things. Then you can make cheddar-broccoli soup, pizza with broccoli, broccoli quiche, broccoli fritters…..  you get the idea.

Reeve Gutsell is the Food, Farm, and Sustainability Program Coordinator at Hampshire College. She has a Master's degree in Resource Management and Conservation, as well as a long-term interest in the intersection of agriculture, environmental issues, social justice, and food systems. She enjoys the walking around the farm in all types of weather, and almost always finds something beautiful or interesting to explore.

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