Bring 4 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt to a rapid boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice.
Carefully lower the broccoli florets into the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green and just barely tender.
With a slotted spoon, remove the broccoli and immediately plunge into the ice water.
When the broccoli is completely cool, drain it from the ice water and pat dry with a paper towel.
Uniform size:Cut the broccoli florets into pieces that are all about the same size so they cook evenly.
Buying: Choose bright green broccoli that has a firm stalk without yellowing florets or brown spots. Broccoli should feel heavy for its size.
Storing: Whole broccoli should be stored in an open bag in the refrigerator. Use broccoli within 3-4 days.
Yield: This recipe makes 6 servings (1/2 cup blanched broccoli each). 1 pound broccoli yields about 6 cups raw florets or 3 cups blanched florets.
Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Arrange drained broccoli in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or waxed paper and put it in the freezer. Once the broccoli is frozen, transfer it to a zipper-top bag and freeze up to 9 months. Remove and reheat any portion size, or thaw the whole bag overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.