Once upon a time, my broccoli stalks used to get thrown in the compost pile after I’d eaten the florets.
Then it dawned on me that I was paying for this product by weight and most of it was being thrown away.
So I tentatively experimented with putting them in soup.
This rapidly became one of my favourite soups, which was featured in Anna Pitt’s book: “Leftover Pie: 101 ways to reduce your food waste”.
As I was browsing her book I saw a recipe for hummus which used broccoli stalks as crudités. What a genius idea!
I eventually tried them over the summer and realised how delicious they were. I’m a huge fan of broccoli, but honestly, the stalks – they’re gold dust and in some ways my favourite part of the vegetable.
So when I saw a friend of mine on Facebook sharing that he’d grated his broccoli stalks and added them to coleslaw I knew we were onto something. His friends evidently shared his love of the humble broccoli stalk by sharing what they did with these delicacies in their kitchens.
Karen said “I chop the stalks thinly and steam them.”
John said “One of my children can only eat florets due to Crohn’s so I always get the stalks. Cubed, lightly steamed, delicious.”
Rob said “They also juice well”
Rachel just eats au natrelle – she writes ” I always chop the stalks into small pieces, and we all eat it, it’s full of flavour, not to mention the vitamins”
Peonie agrees, she says ” I always cut the long stalks of and give everyone else the “trees”. I trim off a bit of the outer stalk and just eat the inner whilst I’m cooking! Nobody even knows where it went, and nobody misses it!”
Add to rice
Jesi said ” I boil them in with my rice, broccoli stem with black rice and mung beans.”
Elizabeth said “We cut the stalk up after cutting off the outer layer and use in a stir fry. In my opinion the nicest tasting part of the broccoli. We do the same with cauliflower stalks.”
Soups and curries
Ruth shared ” I usually use the stalks with outside & bottom trimmed off as little cubes in soup or curry – I bet that the tinned soup people do this too to add cheap bulk as I’m never sure what all those veg pieces are!”
Similar to me, Sam says “Chop them up and eat them raw with hummus, similar to carrot sticks in texture.”
Let’s not forget the original inspiration for this post – Simon’s use of broccoli stalks in coleslaw. He wrote
“I always throw away the thick broccoli stalks, but today I tried grating one as the basis of a coleslaw. It was delicious, a subtle taste and soft, not woody! It makes me question, why have I been throwing them away for so long?”
What about you? Have you discovered a piece of ‘food waste’ that you’ve now repurposed into a favourite meal?