The Leftovers: “Stalkoli” Edition
Before my husband and I moved in together, I prided myself on my perfect fridge. Everything was in its place, and nothing was past its due.
But once we shacked up, things started to change. He insisted that expiry dates were actually very loose guidelines, and that every last scrap – right down to the last rung of the onion – could be reused, and transformed into a meal.
His tendencies towards food likely have a lot to do with his being born in Poland, under communist rule. By the time he came to Canada at age nine, the idea of “waste-not” was very ingrained.
After an initial adjustment period, I came to love my husband’s comestible ingenuity, and have embraced (most of) the leftover food in our fridge.
One staple scrap in our fridge is the broccoli stalk or stem, (or “stalkoli,” as we’ve affectionately come to call it). My husband will chop it finely and add it to perogies, spaghetti sauce and stir-fries, and earlier this year he found validation when a New York Times article dismissed the new trend of purchasing only broccoli florets, and touted the health benefits of the stem.
While we tend to use “stalkoli” in a somewhat freehand manner, integrating it in vegetable dishes and pureed soups, the internet is abuzz with actual broccoli stem recipes.
Here’s some inspiration to help you use up the whole broccoli crown and caboodle, in delicious and ingenious ways:
- The Nectar Collective blog’s Melyssa Griffin shares 8 Delicious Uses for Broccoli Stems, from pesto to grilled cheese sandwiches.
- What’s Cooking Good Looking swears that broccoli stems are going to be the “next big thing.” Chef Jodi Moreno’s Broccoli Stem Fries (with Chimichurri Tahini) should have no problem kicking off the trend.
- Love Food Hate Waste’s (great blog concept by a UK-based not-for-profit dedicated to reducing food waste) simple recipe for a broccoli stem soup is a great starting point for broccoli stem novices, and a great hearty winter meal on its own.
- The Paleo blog Healy Eats Real offers some general guidelines for using broccoli stalks, including cutting off the tough outer layer, making broth, and even sharing them with your dog.
A quick Google or Youtube search yields many more suggestions for creative uses of broccoli stems, from slaws to salads to stir-fries.
Do you have an inventive broccoli stem recipe? Or have you been throwing them out all these years? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this and other food “scraps.” Please let us know if you have an idea for our “Leftovers” column – we’d love to feature your recipes on the blog.