These tree-like brassica brothers (or sisters!) may taste different, but their chopping process is pretty similar. Well, except Dana Carvey didn't write a song about chopping cauliflower. Anyways, the key is to let the core guide you; not the heads. You see, when you try to come at the broccoli or cauliflower from the top, it ends up falling apart into un-uniformed bits. Not good.
For the broccoli, the first step is to chop off your big heavy stems, and set them aside (we'll come back to those later). Make your fist cut into the stem as close to the florets as possible without allowing it to fall apart. This will create smaller-sized florets that are easier to work with. From there, you must decide how big or small you want your florets to be. That first cut will give you pretty sizable florets, great for steaming or using in a dip. But slicing each floret in half (from the stem side, of course), or in thirds, will give you smaller, more manageable pieces, ideal for salads or for roasting.
For the cauliflower, we still want to start by cutting off that heavy stem. Cut as close to the cauliflower as you can get. Now, you'll want to cut your cauliflower head in half. When you look inside your half, you will see the core running through it. Cut each half in half one more time so that you're left with four quarters. Now, slice the core off of each quarter. From here, just like the broccoli, the florets should easily come apart. Slice them as big or small as needed.
Wait. Before you go, don't forget about the stems, my friends! There are so many things you can do with them. Roast your cauliflower cores for a dip or a soup, spiralize your broccoli stems for broc-sghetti, and — my personal favorite — grate them into a hot pan with a few spices for a tasty topping to any meal.
Alright my home-trained chefs. It's been a slice. Now, go create your own vegetable story book.