Saturday, 17 July 2010

Eating Broccoli stems

The broccoli in my garden plot is just thriving. I picked these two bushy heads and a handful of peas early this week. I'm a little sad about the peas, this time last year we had peas coming in by bucket by bucket. I mean buckets full. This time, well there is not enough for a real meal, more of a scattering. The two pea wigwams are proving a little disappointing sadly. But I still try and look on the bright side, there is something on my plate that is homegrown and that makes me Smile - big time.
The stalks of the broccoli were a little longer than usual. For those of you read my blog regular, will know that I like my broccoli stalks, so one not to just chop them off and compost them. I look for ways I can eat them.

Well I decided to separate the broccoli where I could as individual stems. If you like asparagus, then imagine Broccoli stems. I did say imagine. I enjoyed them.
Rather than serving this just as a side dish, you could make more of it and add some pasta to it.
Roasted Broccoli stems with lemon-garlic oil
Serves 4 - 6
2 heads of broccoli
100g peas, fresh or frozen
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice from 1 lemon
150ml olive oil
Preheat oven to gas mark 5
Separate the florets and stems. Steam the broccoli florets with the peas and set aside
Peel the broccoli stems* and cut in half. Arrange the broccoli stems in a roasting pan.
In a small bowl, add the oil, lemon and garlic, stir to combine then add seasoning to taste. Pour the mixture evenly over the broccoli. Turn the broccoli over so well coated.
Road in oven for 10 minutes, give it a turn over and then bake for another 10 minutes or so or until the stalks are easily pierced with a fork or knife. When ready to serve. Stir in the peas and steamed broccoli florets so well coated in the lemony garlic oil.
*If you do decide to make this recipe, please make sure that you peel the entire outer length of the broccoli stems, the outer part can be a little tough, even when its fresh! Adapted from Barbara Kafka Vegetable Love.


  1. What pretty broccoli you are growing over there! I just have rapini broccoli growing so it's so itty bitty.

  2. Yum!! As always :) I love broccoli stems, actually I think it's the best part. The only time I don't eat them is if the broccoli isn't very fresh but typically, if that's the case, I wouldn't have bought it in the first place!

    I have never tried growing broccoli and didn't dare try this year as I was sure the earwigs would destroy it. I wanted at least one more year to get the population under control (this is the first full summer in my house). Your broccoli looks perfect! I'm wondering if you have any pests you need to worry about, and what you do to grow it so successfully. Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

  3. Like the idea of broccoli and peas together - will try. Glad to see your visit on my blog - question about the Scottish rain and weather - Edinburgh in early August? Rain? Chill? Heat? Shorts and sandals or trousers and leather shoes? My sister and I need to know :)

  4. Your broccoli is gorgeous! You're right to be so pleased! I like broccoli stems too...a nice combo with the peas. If it makes you feel any better; I got a very scant pea harvest this year too...not sure why, I had just as many plants as I've had in years past....maybe it's just the year for it.

  5. I wish shop bought broccoli came with such long stalks. I've been experimenting with long gratings since I've had to reduce my carb intake and these would make a fab alternative spaghetti.
    I share your pea disappointment x

  6. The broccoli stem recipe sounds really yummy. I've never cooked them, but my husband loves to eat them raw, so when I have a head with a long stem, I peel it and put it on a try of veggie sticks for him and they promptly disapear.

  7. Thanks Carissa!
    Your itty bitty rapini broccoli will taste so good when you eat it, because its homegrown.

    Thank you RuckusButt.
    Nice to read that you like me like your broccoli stems.

    I was interested to read why you decided not to grown broccoli this year, as well as getting used to your new surroundings - your new home.
    I grew broccoli for the first time last year and the head was quite pitiful. Plus the pigeons! This year my broccoli yields have been much better. Due to the lack of growing space, I have been rather precious about what I have planted, so made sure veg were protected from birds and beasties. So all of my brassicas have been covered by netting. My main problem at home is the white cabbage butterfly and slugs. I used organic pellets to keep the slugs under controly, as well as egg shells, coffee granules etc. Seemed to have done the trick so far! And the butterfly has been hovering in the garden, but has not proven too much of a problem. I hope this helps.

    Thank you Susan.
    Edinburgh in early August could be like Edinburgh in February or November. Good chance it will rain! It shouldn't be too cold, but do bring a fleece. Walking boots and sandals will both do, but it does depends on what you are intending on doing, strolling the countryside or walking the hills. But def. bring a light raincoat. It will def. rain :)

    Thank you so much Rose.
    So good to read that you like broccoli stems too. I have to admit I haven't many people that do like stems. I actually thought I was an odd bod. But you and Ruckusbutt have informed me otherwise.

    I'm sorry to read about your scant pea harvest too. In the U.K some of us can only point the finger to the weather it has been so changeable.

    Shop bought anything could be much better!

    I'm sorry to read athat you have had to reduce your carb intake, but your health is important.

    Thank you Kateri.
    I am amazed to learn that your husband loves eating broccoli stems raw. What a star! I love how you serve them, almost as a crudite. I think thats a fab idea, I may give it a go with some dips. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Thanks mangocheeks! My sister tried row covers on her cabbage and it seemed to have encouraged the earwigs even more - they were completely eaten! I wouldn't have thought about birds, so I will be sure to net them when I do grow broccoli.

    Those organic pellets do work well for slugs, thankfully! Earwigs aren't so easy. I pour boiling water on the nests and leave out containers of water & oil which does a pretty good job but it's slow progress.

  9. Another wonderful broccoli idea! I like the stems too - they're really good in stir fries as well. As are the leaves.

  10. I am a big broccoli stalk fan, too - though I usually eat them raw while I'm preparing broccoli for a meal. Next time I should try to resist and actually do something interesting with them. Your recipe sounds delicious!

  11. Your so welcome RuckusButt.

    I have never encountered a problem with earwigs here yet and by the sounds of it, think I would like it to stay that way. Sorry to hear about your sisters cabbages. I will keep in mind your method should I encounter earwigs. The pigeons are a bigger problem here and the white cabbage butterfly laying her eggs.

    I agree dhose organic pellets do work well for slugs but you do have to replenish the ground a bit more, as the effect does wear off as I have noted recently - some of my swiss chard leaves have been munched.

    Thank you Grapefruit.
    Ah I am happy to learn that so many fellow bloggers actually love their broccoli stems. I underestimated its popularity.

    Thanks Monica.
    So good to read that you are a broccoli stalk fan too. I have to admit I have never eaten them raw though. Must do one of these days. More bite and crunch!

  12. Those stems look great. I have found that sometimes I enjoy the stems, and sometimes they are too tough to chew. That's probably a statement of their quality or age. Growing your own must help - I hope to have a vegetable garden one day!


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