Begin by placing the head of broccoli upside down on a cutting board. Cut off each of the florets where they meet the stalk.
Slice the large florets into smaller pieces by slicing through the stems.
Square the stalk by slicing off the tough outer layer of the stalk, removing about 1/8 of an inch on each side.
Slice the stalk into 1/4-inch pieces.
Uniform size: Cut the broccoli florets into pieces that are all about the same size so they cook evenly. If you plan to roast the broccoli, cut the florets into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces. If you plan to blanch the broccoli, or if you are making Piggly Wiggly Salad (Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese), you may want to cut the florets into smaller pieces.
Buying: Choose bright green broccoli that has a firm stalk, and should not have any yellowing florets or brown spots. Broccoli should feel heavy for its size.
Washing: Fresh broccoli is susceptible to mold growth, so wash broccoli only right before you will use it.
Storing: Whole broccoli should be stored in an open bag in the refrigerator. Store cut broccoli florets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you plan to freeze broccoli, I recommend blanching it first and freezing in an airtight container. Store for up to nine months.
Yield: 2 pounds broccoli (stalks and florets) will give you about 12-14 cups chopped broccoli. That will cook down to about 8 cups roasted broccoli.