This is a mature plant of PSB "Red Arrow", ready for cutting:
I cut the central part of the flowering head, and a few of the sideshoots, using a very sharp knife. It is important to make a clean cut.
This is the plant afterwards:
The removal of the main head will encourage the sideshoots to grow more vigorously. There must be about 15 of them on this plant at present:
Unfortunately there was also one of these:
At least I could only see one... But I seem to have got him before he had caused any significant damage.
Here is a closer look at the main head. You can see that even this bit is really just a cluster of smaller shoots.
When preparing the vegetable for cooking, I usually disassemble the head into a number of separate pieces.
The thicker stem cooks a lot more slowly than the flowers, so separating things makes it easier to cook the shoots to the perfect degree of done-ness - which incidentally only takes a couple of minutes, literally.
And these are some sideshoots, commonly referred to as "spears". When preparing them for cooking, I normally remove most, but not all, of the leaves.
This beautiful and tasty vegetable needs very careful cooking. I usually boil my broccoli, in a large pan of water, and have a colander handy for draining the veg as soon as it is cooked. If you leave it standing in the cooking water for even another minute it can easily become over-cooked and mushy. When cooked this vegetable is very delicate and it is best handled with a pair of tongs- or even your fingers if you can bear the heat. It doesn't take kindly to be jostled roughly in amongst a serving-dish full of other veg. Another point for the cook to note is that broccoli goes cold very quickly, so it is best to cook it when everything else is ready.
If you need any ideas for cooking PSB, you'll find quite a few here on my blog (use the "Search this blog" facility?). How about this one from a few days ago: Pasta with Gorgonzola, Walnuts and PSB.