How long do I need to steam broccoli to make it crisp but tender?
It depends on how big the florets are -- usually about 10-15 minutes, but check them for tenderness with a fork after 10. They should be bright green and barely resist the fork.
I learned the following from Shirley O. Corriher in her COOKWISE cookbook and have very good luck. She says that cooking any vegetable over 7 minutes causes them to turn brown. So you want your florets to be about 1 1/2 inches and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Also, adding a little sugar and salt to the cooking water seasons and preserves the firm texture - about 1 tsp. salt and 2 tsps. sugar to 1 1/2 quarts of water and about 1 1/2 pounds of broccoli, Use a large pan - you will be steaming more than boiling. Enjoy!
If you start timing as soon as you turn on the burner with cold water, check at 8 minutes. I know...the lazy woman's way, but it works for me!
I usually do steamed broccoli that is more tender than crisp. I usually cut broccoli florets and stems into bite sized pieces. It comes out perfectly after 10 minutes, so I would say start checking at about the 7 or 8 minute mark. Good luck!