Thursday, November 12, 2015

How to Cook (and Enjoy) Broccoli Stems

Broccoli is my husband's favourite vegetable and we eat it incessantly. But I can't stand the little dark, curly leaves. And I think the stems taste like ick.

Thankfully a recipe from Ellie Krieger's cookbook Weeknight Wonders has come to my rescue. I have learned how to cook broccoli stems so that they are delicious. Yippee!

There are just two tricks:
1. cut away all but the sweet, inner portion of the stem, and
2. make sure the stems get the most heat while cooking.

First, it turns out the outer portion of the stems really are ick. Cut off the florets and then cut away all the dark parts of the stems to reveal the pale interior. At first I felt guilty for cutting off almost a third of the stem, but then I realised it was better than not eating the stem at all! The almost white insides of the stem are actually the sweetest, most delicate part of the broccoli. Now I love them!

Secondly, the stems need the hotter heat while cooking. Heat the pan and then put half a cup of water and the stems at the bottom of the pan, then pile the florets on top. Slap the lid on and cook on high for three minutes. Then add in any other soft vegetables (such as courgettes and thin carrot strips) and cook for three minutes longer.  The stems get boiled while the florets are steamed. In six minutes the broccoli is lovely and tender crisp - both the stems and florets.

This idea was solidified in my mind thanks to our Eating with Ellie blogging group, which this week is making pan-steamed broccoli with lemon, garlic, and parsley gremolata. If you want to join in, we are cooking from Weeknight Wonders. You are welcome to join us; no long term commitment required. Visit the others in my blogging group to see if they liked the recipe.

Are there any vegetables that you think are ick?

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