Cauliflower and broccoli reach their peak in October and November. Both of the vegetables belong to the cabbage family. Broccoli and cauliflower contain a high amount of vitamin C. The vegetables need storing in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, and to be used within four days. Once you select fresh and ripe broccoli and cauliflower, you can begin preparing the vegetables for steaming. Steaming the vegetables cooks them so that they are tender.
Remove the leaves from the broccoli and cauliflower stalks. Trim the rough ends off the stalks.
Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into flowerets. Remove each head and leave a small piece of the stem. Set the large stem off to the side.
Peel the broccoli stem with a vegetable peeler. Cut the stem into pieces crosswise.
Rinse the broccoli and cauliflower under cool water. Insert a steamer basket into a large saucepan that contains 1 inch of water. Do not allow the water to touch the bottom of the basket.
Place the broccoli and cauliflower into the steam basket. Cover the saucepan with a lid. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then reduce the water to a simmer to steam the vegetables for 6 to 10 minutes until they are tender. Add water to the pan when necessary to keep it from drying.
When purchasing broccoli, you will want to select stalks that contain dark green flowerets. The leaves on cauliflower will need to appear green, and the heads will appear creamy white when ripe.
Avoid purchasing broccoli stalks that are yellow, wilted or tough. Do not purchase cauliflower stalks that have brown spots or dry leaves.