The name comes from the Italian word for “cabbage sprout” and indeed, broccoli is a relative of cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. This deep emerald-green vegetable (which sometimes has a purple tinge) comes in tight clusters of tiny buds that sit on stout, edible stems. It’s available year-round, with a peak season from October through April. Look for broccoli with a deep, strong color green, or green with purple; the buds should be tightly closed and the leaves crisp. Refrigerate unwashed, in an airtight bag, for up to 4 days. If the stalks are tough, peel before cooking. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as riboflavin, calcium and iron.

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