One of the most popular vegetables in the UK and well-loved around the world, broccoli is essentially a large edible flower, available green or purple and packed with nutrition vital for a healthy diet.

What Is Broccoli?

Broccoli is an edible plant consumed as a vegetable and belonging to the brassica family. It is most commonly green, but can also be purple and is closely related to cauliflower and cabbage. It’s a cole crop (vegetables growing in cool weather/seasons) and often referred to as a stem brassica as it grows above the ground on a stem.

The History Of Broccoli

Broccoli originates from the Mediterranean, it was cultivated from a cabbage relative in Tuscany during the ancient Roman era and introduced in the UK during the 18th Century. The English name, broccoli, is derived from the Italian ‘broccolo’ which means ‘the flowering crest of a cabbage’.

How Popular Is Broccoli?

As of 2022, broccoli is one of the top 10 most popular vegetables in the UK. It’s more recent variety, Tenderstem broccoli frequently appears on restaurant menus nationwide.

How Should You Store Broccoli?

Like most vegetables, good air circulation is key in order for broccoli to breathe, so it’s best stored in a gastro tray with a fitted lid and stored in the fridge. For long-term storage, broccoli can be blanched and then stored in the freezer for up to a year which helps cut down on food wastage.

The Nutritional Benefits Of Broccoli

Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable and a good source of fibre and vitamins such as folic acid and vitamins A, C and K, meaning it’s great for boosting the immune system. These vitamins are also important for the maintenance of healthy skin and bones, eyesight and aids in healing wounds. Research also indicates broccoli has anti-oxidant properties that can help prevent some forms of cancer.

How To Prepare Broccoli

The right way to cut a large head of broccoli is to cut off the separate florets at the stalks, where they meet the base and then the large florets can be halved. The stalk on the traditional broccoli variety is quite tough, it does tenderise when cooked but not entirely, so many favour to trim it down, but leave it in for some extra crunch to your dish and to avoid waste. Broccoli leaves can be eaten, a good way to prepare them is to treat them in a similar way to how you might prepare kale. Using the full broccoli plant is a great way to minimise food waste.

Ways to season broccoli are much like that of asparagus such as grilled with salt, pepper and olive oil, sautéed in butter, roasted with garlic or plainly steamed or boiled.

Broccoli Season

Broccoli season in the UK is June to Oct, however, purple sprouting broccoli is a cool season crop and can withstand sub-zero temperatures so is perfect for growing in winter and in countries with colder climates.

How To Select Broccoli

When choosing broccoli those with a strong stalk and vibrant colour are most desirable. Avoid broccoli that is yellowing or browning and limp and make sure to feel the head for firmness as it will ensure your broccoli is nice and crisp when cooked. To maintain quality broccoli heads are harvested during the cool hours of the morning and refrigerated as soon as possible.

How Does Broccoli Grow?

As an annual plant, Broccoli is typically fast growing and completes its life cycle in one season. Broccoli seedlings are usually sown indoors in plant pots and once large enough are transferred into the ground.

A head of broccoli grows upright and has a number of stems formed from clusters of buds called florets. It is surrounded by leathery leaves and it’s buds can eventually bloom into yellow flowers if not harvested.

Where Does Our Broccoli Come From?

We are passionate about supporting British farming and source our produce locally wherever possible. During the UK season, much of our broccoli is sourced from Cambridgeshire. We also work with MWW in the midlands, who supply us with Tenderstem when in season. Out of UK season, our broccoli is imported from Totana in the Spanish region of Murcia.

Types Of Broccoli


Calabrese is the most common variety or ‘regular’ broccoli. It has a light green stalk and clusters of dark green buds. It has a mild flavour, and much like a teapot, its florets are short and stout!

Tenderstem Broccoli

Developed by Japanese scientists, broccolini is a hybrid of regular broccoli and Chinese broccoli and more commonly known under the trademark name Tenderstem. It has smaller florets with longer, thinner stalks, and a sweeter, more refined taste.

Purple Broccoli

Due to the pigment anthocyanin, this type of broccoli turns purple when exposed to the sun. Like most purple varieties of vegetables, it is sweeter than green broccoli and can also withstand temperatures of -12 degrees, which is why it is referred to as winter sprouting broccoli.

Our Broccoli

Here you can find some of the varieties of broccoli we stock, when available. Please contact our team to discuss your requirements, or login to our online ordering or app to place your order.