Avoid buying broccoli with stalks that have dry cracks or that bend easily or with florets that are yellow or brown. If your broccoli stalks are especially thick, split them in half lengthwise before slicing.
1/4teaspoon table salt
1/8teaspoon ground black pepper
2tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3/4pounds broccoli , florets cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut on bias into 1/4-inch-thick slices about 1 1/2 inches long (about 5 cups florets and 3/4 cup stems)
1. Stir water, salt, and pepper together in small bowl until salt dissolves; set aside. In 12-inch nonstick skillet with tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add broccoli stems in even layer and cook, without stirring, until browned on bottoms, about 2 minutes. Add florets to skillet and toss to combine; cook, without stirring, until bottoms of florets just begin to brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
2. Add water mixture and cover skillet; cook until broccoli is bright green but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until water has evaporated, broccoli stems are tender, and florets are tender-crisp, about 2 minutes more.