Broccoli pairs well with a variety of seasonings, ranging from simple salt and pepper to bold combinations of garlic, onion, olives and anchovies. It also goes well with citrus zest, herbs such as rosemary, Asian seasoning blends, Italian seasonings, fish sauce, sausage and Parmesan or pecorino cheeses. Broccoli, especially the flowering crown, readily absorbs other flavors, which makes it relatively easy to create bold, flavorful dishes.
In addition to using dry seasonings and spices, cooks can also use fresh herbs to season broccoli or also season it with salad dressings, vinegars and sauces. Add this versatile vegetable to salads and pasta dishes, or puree it with some chicken or vegetable stock to make a flavorful soup.
Just as broccoli has a variety of seasonings that enhance its flavor, it can also be cooked in a variety of ways, including steaming, boiling, roasting or stir-frying. To avoid a strong, cabbage flavor, cook with the freshest broccoli available. When buying broccoli, look for compact heads with florets that are tightly closed. The aroma should not be cabbage-like. Prepare broccoli by paring the outer layer from the stems. Separate the florets from the stalks, if desired. Because the florets and stems need different amounts of time to cook, cut slits in the stems to encourage even cooking.