The head of the branching florets and approximately six inches of the stalk are the edible portions of broccoli. When purchasing broccoli, choose bunches with stalks that are firm, as stalks that bend or seem rubbery are often of poor quality. Broccoli stems are very nutritious and often go to waste. If preparing a broccoli stem salad, it is recommended to peel the bottom of the broccoli stems to remove the tough fibers, and to cut the stems into ½ inch wide rounds.
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