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:

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. 

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