Monday, July 25, 2011

Broccoli Woccoli

How often do you buy fresh broccoli? I often do. My kids actually like it better than most veggies. I usually just blanch it to make it just tender, then drain it well. I then saute it in garlic and butter or bacon fat with a little salt and pepper. Now how many of you only eat the florette part and toss the stem? I can hear it now, “ Those tough, woody stems?” Yes those things. I never toss them out. Here is why. The inner part of the stem is actually quite tender and flavorful. If you ever had Chinese takeout, you likely have had it and didn't even know it. After you remove all of the flower, you will have a stump left. Look at the root end of the stem. You will see what looks like a tree stump. It has a large inner ring, a darker outer ring (the skin) and usually another ring near the outer edge of the stem. Take your paring knife and starting at the root end of the stump, make a cut into the stem near the outer edge of the skin. Grasp this outer skin with your thumb and paring knife and pull down the length of the stem. This is the tough outer stem that makes eating broccoli such a chore. Repeat all of the way around the stem. As you get near the flower end of the stem, the skin gets more tender and will likely not peel off as easy. You can continue to remove it or just leave it and eat it. Slice the stem into coins and cook with the flowers. You just stretched your food dollar and added more nutrition to your diet.

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