Making the Most of Broccoli

making the mostof broccoli

love broccoli. It’s one of my favorite vegetables to eat. Steamed with a little butter (okay, Earth Balance at our house, but still) and salt it’s incredible. Simple, delicious, and good for you – what’s not to like? While the florets are the jewel in the crown of broccoli, the stalks are also edible. Did you know that? I’d venture a lot of people don’t, and moreover, that a lot of people don’t know how to prepare the stalks in order to make them just as appetizing as the florets. Fortunately, I’ve got a couple of easy suggestions for you.

First up, you’ll want to peel the outer layer off the stalk – it’s can be a little tough, even after being cooked. Once peeled, it’s ready to use just like any other bit of crunchy veg. My favorite three ways to utilize broccoli stalks are –

  • Match sticks – cut the broccoli stalks into thin strips, about two inches in length. These are great in stir fries for a little crunch, or you can batter them tempura-style for a tasty appetizer.
  • Diced – take the match sticks a step further and dice them. Diced broccoli stalks are great in soups, stews, or sauces.
  • Grated – for the least “obtrusive” way to use broccoli stalks (especially if you’re feeding a stalk skeptic) is to grate it. You can use grated broccoli in soups, stews and sauces like you can with diced, but you can also add it to rice, quinoa, millet, quick breads (think zucchini bread), smoothies, salads… anything really.

So – don’t throw out those stalks! They’re incredibly nutritious and easy to prepare, stretching both your meal ingredients and your food dollars.