A member of the genus Brassica, broccoli appears to have originated in Italy and spread from there to England and so forth.
Broccoli takes to many forms of preparation, including steamed, sautéed, stir fried, roasted or even grilled. Typically the tops and upper stems are the only parts eaten but the lower stalk is quite edible as well, it just needs to be peeled to reveal the tender interior. If you plan on adding broccoli to summer salads or appetizer platters, it typically needs to be blanched and cooled quickly in an ice bath. Leftover cooked broccoli can be used in breakfast dishes, thrown in salads, or added as a pizza topping. Broccoli pairs well with olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, mustard, cheddar cheese, parmesan, olive, marjoram, oregano, and bacon.