Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom


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Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped (optional)
  • dried thyme
  • 2 cups grated cheese
  • 8 slices whole wheat bread
  • salt to taste
  • 1 medium stalk broccoli, in small florets


Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  1. Heat 2 T olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and wait 30 seconds.
  2. Add the onions, and cook for two minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and two pinches of thyme.
  5. Cook, stirring for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl, and set aside.
  7. Using a pastry brush, paint the bread slices lightly on both sides with the remaining olive oil.
  8. Heat the pan on medium low.
  9. Add a few bread slices, and cook until golden brown.
  10. Flip the bread, and reduce the heat to low.
  11. Place a small pile of broccoli florets and chopped onion on the center of each piece of bread.
  12. Sprinkle cheese over the vegetables, and cover the pan until the cheese melts.
  13. Let the cheese cool a bit before serving.

(per five students)

  • 1⁄4 cup light sour cream
  • 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh spinach, basil or other fresh or dried herb
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • paper plates

Broccoli Trees

  1. Prepare a dip by combining the sour cream, mayo, lemon juice and spinach or herb in a medium size mixing bowl.
  2. To make the trees, cut each carrot in half widthwise and then lengthwise into four pieces.
  3. Assemble the trees on the plates by laying three carrot pieces side by side for a trunk and placing the broccoli florets to look like leaves. Spread dip under the trunks to serve as the forest floor.


Use an online search engine or library references to research trees that grow well in Oklahoma.  Students will draw two of the trees they researched and then classify them as deciduous or evergreen.

P.A.S.S. Science Process —Grades 3-5: 2

Related lesson online: Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns

  • Broccoli has been served up for dinner for at least 2,000 years.
  • It is likely that Thomas Jefferson was the first person to grow broccoli in the United States. He recorded his first planting of broccoli on May 27, 1767. Americans have grown broccoli in their gardens for about 200 years, but it was not popular until the 1920s. The first commercially-grown broccoli was grown and harvested in New York, then planted in the 1920s in California.
  • The name "broccoli" comes for the Latin word brachium, which means "branch," or "arm." Roman farmers called broccoli "the five green fingers of Jupiter."
  • Broccoli was first grown in the Italian province of Calabria and was given the name Calabrese.
  • Broccoli consumption has increased over 940 percent over the last 25 years.
  • Ounce for ounce, broccoli has as much calcium as a glass of milk and more vitamin C than an orange. A 1/3 pound stalk of broccoli has more vitamin C than 2 1/2 pounds of oranges or 204 apples.It is one of the best sources of vitamin A and has more fiber than a slice of wheat bran bread. Broccoli is also a good source of potassium, folacin, iron and fiber. It contains a few important phytochemicals: beta-carotene, indoles and isothiocyanates. Phytochemicals prevent carcinogens (cancer causing substances) from forming. They also stop carcinogens from getting to target cells and help boost enzymes that detoxify carcinogens.
  • Broccoli is a cool season vegetable. It grows well in Oklahoma gardens in early spring and in the fall.

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Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom is a program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.