When selecting broccoli, look for lively green leaves and firm, thin stalks. Thick stalks will be woody and are a sign of over maturity. The florets should be compact, firmly closed, and of a deep green color. Reject any heads that show any sign of yellowing or tiny yellow flowers as this is an indication of age.
Broccoli should be soaked, head down, for half an hour in cold salt water with a ratio of 1 tsp. of salt to each quart of water. After the salt-water soak, the broccoli must be drained and thoroughly rinsed under running water.
Consume fresh broccoli as soon as you can as it will not keep long. To store, mist the heads, wrap loosely in damp paper towels, and refrigerate. Use within 2 to 3 days. Do not store broccoli in a sealed plastic bag. Raw broccoli requires air circulation. A perforated plastic bag is fine.