Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Broccoli: The Other Parts...

When one consumes broccoli, one is only eating a small portion of the plant.  The heads stand about two feet off the ground and grow from the middle of large leaves.  I don’t know about you but I like to use as much of a plant as possible.  Sure, I've got chickens and pigs and they love this kind of stuff but what is wrong with using as much of the plant as possible most of the time?

Broccoli Stems
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer skin from the stems.  Cut each stem lengthwise into halves or quarters.  Slice the sections into chunks ½-1 inch long for using in soups or stews or baking and ¼ to ½ inch long for sautéing or other quicker cooking methods.
            If you are not going to use the chunks immediately, fill and label freezer bags and freeze the chunks.
            Broccoli stems are great in chunky soups or stews and when sautéed, can be a part of a vegetable mix by itself or layered over hash browns or potatoes, perhaps with some cheese.  Get creative and add a hint of broccoli flavor and great texture to your meals!

Broccoli Leaves

2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 small onion
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups broccoli leaves
2 tsp. sugar
2 cloves garlic

Wash broccoli leaves and remove stem. Roll leaves and cut, when finished will appear like noodles. Add cut leaves and about 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan.
Begin to cook on medium.
Dice onion small and add to pan with broccoli leaves. Add approximately 2 cloves minced garlic - more or less to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sugar to taste (sugar helps to cut the bitterness of the leaves).
Stir frequently, until onions are translucent and leaves are tender/floppy.

Serve hot.

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