Broccoli means 'little sprouts' in Italian and it is a member of the brassica family.

Broccoli is popular and widely eaten. It has a distinctive ‘mustardy’ taste and well known health benefits. The stalks, buds and most of the leaves of broccoli are edible.

Varieties of broccoli

Sprouting broccoli (or calabrese)

This is the most popular variety and known just as broccoli. It has dark bluish-green heads with firm stalks that snap easily. Avoid using broccoli with yellowed leaves or yellow flowers through the buds.
- Romanesco broccoli is a variety that has light green clusters of heads that are pointed and look a bit like coral. Supply is limited.

Chinese broccoli – also known as Chinese sprouting broccoli, Chinese kale (gaai laan)

Chinese broccoli has long green stems (about 2 cm in diameter and 20 cm long), white flowers and green leaves that have a white haze on them. The flowers should be in bud rather than in full bloom. To prepare, chop the leaves roughly. Peel the stem to get rid of the fibrous layer and cut it into evenly sized pieces.


This is a natural cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli (gaai lan). It has a long slender stem topped with small flowering buds that are a cross between broccoli florets and an asparagus tip.

What to look for

Choose compact bud clusters with no yellow colouring or large open buds. Heads should be dark green or have a purple tinge (except for Romanesco, orange broccoli and broccoflower – they are a lighter, brighter green).


All Year.


Refrigerate in plastic bags. Use promptly.

How to prepare

Trim stalks and divide heads into even sized portions. The stalks can be left attached to the florets. Alternatively, stalks can be removed, sliced finely and used in stir fries and soups; or julienned and used in coleslaw. Broccoli is usually eaten cooked – however, cook only until tender and still slightly crisp. Cook using methods such as steaming, microwaving and stir frying. To blanch, simply place portions in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain and cool under cold running water. Blanching improves taste, colour and texture.

Ways to eat

Broccoli is one of the most versatile vegetables. It can be served raw or lightly blanched and used in salads, pasta dishes, omelettes, quiches, soups and as a side dish.

Cooking Methods

Boil, steam, microwave, roast, stir fry.


BROCCOLI Raw      
Nutrition Information        
Servings per package:  
Serving size: 1 cup = 91 g        
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100 g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 127/30 1% 140/33  
Protein (g) 3.4 7% 3.8  
Fat, total (g) 0.5 1% 0.5  
 - saturated (g) 0.04 0% 0.04  
Available carbohydrate (g) 1.6 1% 1.8  
 - sugars (g) 1.6 2% 1.8  
Dietary Fibre (g) 3.1 10% 3.4 A source of Dietary Fibre
Sodium (mg) 7 0% 7.4  
Vitamin C (mg) 90 225% RDI* 99 A good source of Vitamin C
Folate (µg) 45 22% RDI* 49 A source of Folate
Niacin (mg) 1.1 11% RDI* 1.2 A source of Niacin
Riboflavin (mg) 0.17 10% RDI* 0.19 A source of Riboflavin
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg) 96 13% RDI* 105 A source of Vitamin A
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.3 19% RDI* 0.33 A source of Vitamin B6
Potassium (mg) 319   350 Contains Potassium
Thiamin (mg) 0.07 7% RDI* 0.08  
Vitamin E (mg) 0.89 9% RDI* 0.98  
Iron (mg) 0.5 5% RDI* 0.6  
Zinc (mg) 0.4 4% RDI* 0.5  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ   
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs.  
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)  
Source: FOODfiles 2016        
BROCCOLINI Cooked      
Nutrition Information        
Servings per package:  
Serving size: 8 stalks = 85 g        
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100 g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 146/35 2% 168/40  
Protein (g) 3.0 6% 3.5  
Fat, total (g) 0.0 0% 0.0  
 - saturated (g) 0.0 0% 0.0  
Available carbohydrate (g) 6.0 2% 6.9  
 - sugars (g) 2.0 2% 2.3  
Dietary Fibre (g) 1.0 3% 1.2  
Sodium (mg) 25 1% 29  
Vitamin A Eqiuv. (µg) 225 30% RDI* 259 A good source of Vitamin A
Vitamin C (mg) 52  130% RDI* 60 A good source of Vitamin C
Calcium (mg) 48 6% RDI* 55  
Iron (mg) 0.48  4% RDI* 0.55  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ  
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs.  
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)  
Source: Information courtesy of Fruits & Veggies More Matters    
Data not available for Broccolini in New Zealand Food Compositon Tables  


Because broccoli is highly perishable, it is preferable to purchase broccoli that has been put through an ice water bath and transported and marketed under refrigeration. Display on refrigerated shelving on a bed of ice. Buy small quantities regularly to guarantee freshness. Display beside cauliflower. Sprinkle with water before returning to the chiller at night. Use QR code on labels.

Store at 0ºC with a relative humidity of 90-100%. Broccoli is very ethylene sensitive so store separately from ethylene producing fruits and vegetables.

Purchase broccoli with the New Zealand GAP logo.


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