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How to cut broccoli into florets

Most broccoli dishes call for florets of varying sizes. The tender broccoli stems, when peeled and sliced, are as delicious as the florets.

Cut off and discard the very bottom part of the stem since it's usually tough and fibrous all the way through.

To make the stems easier to peel, trim away any small "branches" with a pairing knife.

With a peeler (or a pairing knife), remove the tough outer layer of the stem to reveal the tender, lighter green flesh underneath.

Separate the stem and florets with single cut.

Now you can slice the stems any way you like. For quick-cooking dishes, slice the stems on the bias, 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. For dishes that call for larger pieces, cut the stems into 1 to 3-inch sections.

Now you can trim the florets to any size you like. For roasting and braising, keep the florets large. For pastas, stir-fries, and ragouts, cut them small.

When you cut the florets into small pieces you may have some really long stems. To make bite-size pieces just trim them away and toss the stems in with the florets.

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