I love broccoli. I’ve eaten it so many ways, boiled, sautéed, baked, and raw. I’ve even thrown them in the blender with my fruit and vegetable smoothies (I haven’t been irregular since!).
As much as I love broccoli, I have not enjoyed the long stems attached to the broccoli crowns. As you get lower to the bottom of the stem, it can become woody like the bottom of asparagus spears. This woodiness is the lignin and can be inedible. Sure you can buy the broccoli crown with the stems separated or cut shorter, but Trader Joe’s usually has them with the long stalks. I try to avoid buying the prepackaged broccoli (or other vegetables) if I can to avoid all that extra plastic and extra cost!!
But I didn’t really know what to do….until I pulled out my cheese grater.
I blanche the lush green broccoli crown separately, shred the raw broccoli stem, and discard the inedible lignin part. If you don’t have a cheese grater or mandolin, or you’re a lazy butt and don’t want to work that hard, simply toss them into the food processor and boom! The shredded broccoli stems are great in sandwiches, salads, wrap, burgers…anything you would put lettuce it. It has a nice softer texture than you’d expect with a slight crunch for texture. The best use for it? I think cole slaw would be the winner!
So next time you’re thinking about tossing out your broccoli stems or when you’re dreading eating them boiled, try out this money-saving and food saving idea!