Whenever I’m preparing fresh broccoli I try to incorporate the stalks into the recipe. They’re perfectly edible and nutritious and using the florets and stalks all at once is often the most efficient way to avoid waste (and results in fewer containers of “use-me-up” items in the fridge!).
But! As much as this is my ideal approach, it’s not always as easy as it seems. Some thick portions of the stalk require peeling because they have a more fibrous exterior. And, the stem areas have more girth and may require more cooking time. In the rush of dinner preparation extra peeling and cooking might not be possible. Some recipes really only works with florets.
But, no matter. Because while there’s an elegance to cooking the stalks with the florets, there’s also plenty of culinary fun to be hand in finding recipes that celebrate the stalks for exactly who they are. Stash them in your fridge (they’ll keep for several days). When you’re ready, we’ve got just the recipe to turn those stalks into a delicious and cozy dish.
Scroll down for inspiration from pro food bloggers across the internet that will turn your stemmy cast-offs into your next favorite lunch or side dish. All images are courtesy of the featured blogs (thanks, everyone!). Here we go!
Angela over at Divalicious Recipes loves the cabbagy flavor and crunch that broccoli stems add to coleslaw. Her recipe includes a rich blue cheese dressing, but she says that your favorite coleslaw dressing would work too. Her recipe calls for three broccoli stems, along with red pepper and cabbage, but odds are good that any fresh veggies you have on hand would play nicely here too.
This creamy, cozy soup from the Keto Queens blends broccoli stalks with garlic, sunflower seeds and other ingredients for a unique bowl of comfort. The recipe calls for chicken collagen powder and specific amounts of cream cheese and heavy cream, but I’m guessing you could skip the collagen powder and improvise with different amounts of cream cheese and cream (or some similar ingredients) depending on what you have on hand and how rich you’d like the soup to be. This would also be a great opportunity to use some scrappy broth!
This lentil-based dish from Masala Chilli is a filling, spicy, nutritious way to enjoy your broccoli stalks. The recipe calls for some ingredients that might be hard for American cooks to find, but don’t be afraid to play around with it. You might, for example, use onions and garlic (or onion and garlic powder) in place of hing. Tamarind and jaggary can be substituted with brown sugar and an acid, like rice vinegar. It will be hard to go wrong!
Shelley, of Two Healthy Kitchens, reports that these cheesy roasted broccoli bites disappear nearly as soon as she sets them on the table. Another bonus? They’re quick to make, with only a few ingredients and a roasting time of just 13 minutes. Yet another bonus? The branching areas of the broccoli stalk slice up into some crazy shapes, which are fun for kids. Fun and yum!
This luscious dish from An Edible Mosaic subs broccoli stems for potatoes, resulting in a gratin that is lower calorie, the better to enjoy all that cream and cheese! Recipe developer Faith notes that many vegetables can stand in for potatoes here, so this could also be great opportunity to clear out your vegetable drawer and treat yourself to some gooey, veggie-laden deliciousness.
If you’ve got a stray broccoli stem or two, and a hankering for ragu, well, then, this recipe is for you! (Sounds like I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it!) From Aussie Home Cook, this dish can be prepped in the morning and enjoyed at night. Broccoli stems play well here, but aren’t a major ingredient, so if you have only a small amount of stalks, this could be a great way to use them up.