Broccoli is a member of the cabbage, or cole, family. It grows 11/2 to 21/2 feet tall and looks a bit like cauliflower. Broccoli will grow in most areas of the United States at one season or another, but it is not a suitable crop for very hot climates.
There are three commonly grown types of broccoli. The most familiar is Calabrese broccoli, often referred to simply as “broccoli”, named after Calabria in Italy. It has large (10 to 20 cm) green heads and thick stalks. It is a cool season annual crop. Sprouting broccoli has a larger number of heads with many thin stalks. Purple cauliflower is a type of broccoli sold in southern Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. It has a head shaped like cauliflower, but consisting of tiny flower buds. It sometimes, but not always, has a purple cast to the tips of the flower buds.
Store broccoli in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you wash before storing, make sure to dry it thoroughly.
Broccoli can be blanched and frozen for up to one year.