Broccoli: Do you Eat the Stalk?
With the many parts of the country and the world facing a drought, water should not be wasted to grow parts of vegetables we don’t eat. But there are many parts of vegetables we do throw away that we should eat. Broccoli stalk is a good example that often gets thrown away, but there are so many uses for it!
Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation, parent company to Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation restaurants, instructs its broccoli farmer in California to harvest the broccoli closer to the ground so the restaurants receive more of the stalk. The stalk is shredded, then placed on the salad bar to eat raw, and it’s also used in the restaurant’s broccoli slaw.
Many people find that the stalk to be chewy and tough so they end up using the florets and trashing the stalk, creating more food-waste. But you really just need to know how to prepare it well to move past that tough outter personality and appreciate the iner beauty the stalk has to offer.
The tough part of the broccoli stem is the outer layer on the stalk. You can use a paring or peeler to cut off that tough outer part and use tender inside just as you would the floret. Here are some tips for using broccoli stalk and we think you’ll find something in here to help you fall in love with the stalk and use it in your meals.
Broth – Instead of throwing it away, freeze it, and then when you have enough veggie scraps in your freezer use them to make vegetable broth. Using the tough outer section of the stalk, with or without other veggie bits, can be used to make a vegetable broth.
Thin slice and sauté – Since the stalk is tough it can be hard to steam, but if you slice or chop it finely you can sauté it with a stir-fry or add it to casseroles or frittatas.
Shred it – this is how Sweet Tomatoes & Souplantation makes its broccoli slaw. Using the raw stalk and shredding it using a grater adds crunch to a salad or slaw.
Puree it – You can puree broccoli stalk to make a pesto, using basil, lemon and olive oil. Or you can puree it to make soup. Chop up the stalks and cook it with broth, onion and garlic, then puree with a blender. Add cream for cream of broccoli soup.
Want to give it a try? Here’s a simple and delicious recipe just for you: Sweet Broccoli Slaw