In Defense of the Misunderstood Broccoli Stem
While putting grocery bags into my car, I saw this:
A poor broccoli stem casually thrown on the parking lot pavement like trash.
This…is a TRAGEDY.
Once upon a time I, too, thought poorly of the broccoli stem. It added extra weight increasing the price of the broccoli only to be tossed into the trash. What a waste.
Then a wonderful friend and fantastic nutritionist enlightened me. She said the stem was the best part. She told me to cut away the hard outer layer and just roast it like I do the florets. And she was completely correct.
You see, if you cut the bottom of the stem so you have a clear view of what is inside, you will see the darker harder outer layer. But inside that is a white core that is tender and absolutely delicious. Cut off the outer layer with a knife or a peeler. Then cut the tender inner core anyway you want. I always cut mine in sticks like carrots.
I’ve heard that eating them raw with hummus is delicious. I have yet to try this because I’m obsessed with roasted broccoli and don’t want to waste one bit on something else. I usually toss the stem and florets with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic salt. Then roast them in the oven at about 450 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring them half way through. After the 20 minutes are up you can decide if you want to go longer depending on how roasted you like them. I will also cook them on the grill in the summer by making a “pan” out of tin foil.
Here is a YouTube video on how to cut up broccoli that might be helpful. She cuts away the hard outer part like you would a potato’s skin. I usually cut the stem in half and then, with it standing on end so I can see where the outer part ends and the yummy begins, slice away the outside.
So, I plead with you to no longer toss the broccoli stem aside like trash. Instead, find that tender inner stem and discover its deliciousness. It will definitely change the way you pick out broccoli at the grocery store.