choose tightly formed, deep-green heads wiwth firm stalks.  Some varieties are tinged with purple.  Yellowing heads are past their prime.  Refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag for not more that 4 days.

Trim ends and peel the stalks.  Always rinse broccoli in cold water before cooking.  Cut the florets from the stalk in even sizes.  To steam, place peeled and sliced stem pieces in a steam rack.  Put florets on top.  Lower into a pot with 1 inch of boiling water.  Cover and steam until crisp-tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Broccoli is delicious stir-fried, sauteed or pureed.  Try partially steamed b roccoli sauteed in garlic and olives or with ginger and sesame seeds.