An easy recipe for delicious, tender-crisp steamed broccoli, dressed with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.
I really enjoy this simple broccoli recipe.
But I often find that my favorite way to enjoy fresh broccoli is simply to steam it, as long as it is minimally cooked and remains crisp.
Limp broccoli? Not so good. But tender-crisp broccoli that remains bright-green, simply dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, is wonderful.
Another good reason to make this recipe: this is a cooking method that best preserves nutrients in foods in general and in broccoli in particular.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish (exact amounts are listed in the recipe card below):
- Fresh broccoli
- Fresh lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper.
- Garlic powder
How do you make good steamed broccoli?
These are your basic steps (details in the recipe card below):
- Place broccoli florets in a steamer basket and steam until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by whisking together the remaining ingredients.
- Toss the cooked broccoli florets with the dressing and serve.
The key is to steam until tender-crisp and bright green. So minimal cooking is the secret.
Timing this dish when it’s part of a complete meal can be challenging. Sometimes I find that the broccoli is ready, but the rest of the meal isn’t.
It’s tempting to keep it warm by keeping it in the steaming basket, covered. But I think that’s a mistake. It’s better to enjoy crisp broccoli at room temperature than to suffer through mushy, limp, warm broccoli!
So as soon as the broccoli is ready, remove it into a platter. Dress it with the olive oil-lemon dressing, loosely cover with foil, and serve when the rest of the meal is ready.
Unless you prefer broccoli and cheese sauce, in which case the broccoli should be the last thing you make. You want the cheese sauce warm and gooey.
What is a good seasoning for steamed broccoli?
Simple is best, in my opinion. I season it with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. That’s it! As long as the broccoli is nice and crisp, it’s going to be delicious even with just a sprinkle of salt.
How do you steam broccoli without a steamer?
The easiest way is to use your microwave and make microwave broccoli, which is essentially broccoli steamed in the microwave.
Can I keep the leftovers?
Yes. You can keep cooked broccoli in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat it gently, in the microwave on 50% power. It won’t be as good as when served fresh, though.
- 1 lb. fresh broccoli
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Start boiling water in the steamer.
- Rinse the broccoli. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the stalks.
- Cut the broccoli into bite-size florets and pieces, and place in the steamer basket.
- Steam 5-7 minutes, until tender-crisp. Start checking after 5 minutes. As soon as a fork can pierce the stalks, the broccoli is done. Even if the rest of the meal is not ready yet, remove the broccoli from the steamer onto a plate. Crisp steamed broccoli is delicious even at room temperature. Warm limp broccoli is not.
- While broccoli is steaming, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Place the steamed broccoli in a bowl. Pour the dressing on top and gently mix. Serve immediately.