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Old 09-11-2006, 11:10 PM   #1
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What to do with broccoli stems?!

I have quite a quantity of fresh broccoli stems. They're wonderfully fresh and have been cleaned and peeled. I'd hate to throw them in the compost bin. Anyone have any ideas as to what I could do with them to serve to "humans?" Thanks.

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Old 09-11-2006, 11:11 PM   #2
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i make broccoli soup all the time!! just boil in some water or veg broth and when tender, use a blender, strain, then you can add some cream and reduce a bit or add some cheddar letting it melt.... garnish with some broccoli florets
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:12 PM   #3
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i also slice them thinly and use them in stir fries like any other vegetable
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:50 PM   #4
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Or, in broccoli soup, you can just cube up the stems & cook them till they're soft enough to eat but not mushy. They're great & so good for you!

Also, if you, or anyone you know has a parakeet, it's quite a delicacy for them to get a nibble of a broc stem!
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:25 AM   #5
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The stems are the sweetest part of the broccoli! I echo those who are recommending Cream of broccoli soup! one of the most delicious soups I know! Here's a quick and tasty recipe....

CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP

6 servings

1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound broccoli, cut into chunks
1 small onion, chopped
1 ounce white of leek, chopped
4 Tablespoons flour
1-1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup cream
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Braise garlic in butter. Add vegetables. Cook until tender. DO NOT BROWN!!!

Add flour and cook roux 8 minutes, stirring constantly. DO NOT BROWN!!!

Heat stock. Add hot stock slowly, stirring constantly until thick and smooth. Purée in batches in food processor. Bring back to the boil and season to taste.

Heat the cream, but do not boil. Add hot cream slowly. Serve.

[If you wish, you may add one cup chopped cooked broccoli florets to the soup before serving.]

NOTE: This formula will work to produce a cream soup using any vegetable you choose. Experiment to find combinations of vegetables and herbs you like. Let your imagination be your guide!
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Old 09-12-2006, 03:25 AM   #6
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Mmm, broccoli soup really would hit the spot today, ChefJune.

I never get that far with them. I generally steam my broccoli, leving the stalks on when its just us. They are by far by favourite bit of one of my favourite vegetables. The really big pieces of stalk I steam and consider "cook's spoils" :) My husband also loves it raw. So sometimes its quick thing for his work lunch box along side a sandwich, to munch as crudite.
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:28 AM   #7
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Thanks June. I will try that recipe for my next asparagus soup. I've been saving the stems til I had enough for soup.
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune

Braise garlic in butter. Add vegetables. Cook until tender. DO NOT BROWN!!!

Add flour and cook roux 8 minutes, stirring constantly. DO NOT BROWN!!!
What heat level; low, med, or high?, do you use for these tasks?

Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:30 AM   #9
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I'd say low to med-low for braising. Love Broccoli soup!

Also, I second the stir fry method for b. stems - so good.
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:38 AM   #10
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Don't forget to peel the stems. They are tough. Peeled and sliced lengthwise they make delicious crudités.
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:17 AM   #11
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Broccoli stems are great in cole slaw. Grate them thinly, add Thousand Island dressing and stir in some peanuts. Makes a great salad! You can also do a different combination with poppy seed dressing, top with sliced, toasted almonds and mandarine oranges. They both taste wonderful!
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring
What heat level; low, med, or high?, do you use for these tasks?

Thanks!
I use medium heat for most tasks... and definnitely for these.
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevkile
Don't forget to peel the stems. They are tough. Peeled and sliced lengthwise they make delicious crudités.
Make sure you blanch 'em first...
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:44 AM   #14
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Here is an alternative... peel off the woody surface and inside you will find a flavorful, nutty center.
You can use this in a lot of ways- let your imagination be your guide- but the cole slaw addition is a great idea- cut into fine strips and use for garnish, eat like carrot strips, make the soup, chop and add to rice, coat with panko and flash fry, add to stir fry, ....etc.
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:44 AM   #15
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I've seen them sold packaged at stores ya'll...ready for cole slaw and they don't seem to be blanched.
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:19 AM   #16
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I just eat them with the rest of the broccoli
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:22 AM   #17
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I use the stems in different soups and hot dishes. Great in veggie soup too.
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:39 AM   #18
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After peeling off the fibrous surface down to the tender center, broccoli stems can be cooked right along with the broccoli florets, or used by themselves as a vegetable dish. They work well in cream sauces, like those used for kohlrabi.

You can also add them to soups, stirfries, & - when shredded - to coleslaws. In fact, several supermarkets around here sell bagged peeled shredded broccoli stems as "Broccoli Slaw". In fact, I have a bag of it in the fridge right now, & always toss a handful into soups & stirfries.
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:46 AM   #19
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peel, slice or cube, and use in soups stews stir fries etc.
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:48 AM   #20
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I'm not sure of exactly what you mean by "stems."

Do you mean the 4 to 6 inches of stem below the crown that typically comes with the broccoli? Or is there a larger stem that usually gets cut off?

As for that 4 to 6 inches, I just trim it and steam it with the broccoli, splitting it in half if it's thick, and peeling it if it's woody or gnarly.

If I'm making something that calls for broccoli flowerettes, such as a pasta dish or a stir fry, I peel the stems and slice them into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (like carrot "pennies") and throw them in with the rest of the broccoli.

But I've never encountered bigger stems in our markets, and a great deal of broccoli is grown in SoCal.
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