Cooking Light (February 2013)
We’ve been eating a lot of broccoli in the past few months. And why not? It’s packed with good nutrients, it’s cheap, and it’s just about the quickest vegetable side you can make.
If we’ve got a little time, we’ll chop the florets, toss them in olive oil and roast them in the oven. (That takes about 25 minutes.) If we’re in a hurry, we’ll chop the florets, steam them over some boiling water, and add a squeeze of lemon. (That takes about 4 minutes.)
But somewhere along the way, we asked ourselves a question. “Hey, selves,” we said. “Why are we only using a third of each bunch of broccoli?”
And that’s when we started eating broccoli stalks.
It began with the roasting. We decided to start slicing the broccoli stalk into small discs and roast them along with the florets. Guess what? They taste the same as the florets. Then we started dicing the stalks when we steam as well, with equal success.
We must have been on the same wavelength as the folks at Cooking Light, because we were really excited to see this recipe for Broccoli Carpaccio with Broccoli Stalk Salad in the February issue of the magazine.
(Quick tangent: Can we talk for one second about the word “carpaccio”? We know it’s a very trendy thing right now to treat vegetables as hefty meat entrees. From coast to coast, chefs in progressive restaurants are serving things like cauliflower “steaks,” carrot “tartare” and beet “carpaccio.” Can we please cut that out? We love vegetables at least as much as the next guys — honest! But what’s the deal here? We find it eyeroll-inducing. We swear, the first time we see a turnip “meatloaf” on the menu, we’re walking out.)
Anyway, let’s agree to just call this a Broccoli Stalk Salad — which is great, since the stalk is the headline here. This salad is a wonderful way to make use of broccoli stalks. And it hadn’t yet occurred to us to try broccoli stalks raw.
Our one quibble with this recipe (other than the “carpaccio” business) is that we don’t quite understand the point of splitting this into two dishes. You make the carpaccio, and then you make the salad, and then you serve the salad on top of the carpaccio. But the salad and the carpaccio are mostly made of the same ingredients anyway (albeit sliced slightly differently.)
Our advice? Cut all the broccoli into matchsticks, combine all the ingredients (except the avocado slices) together in one bowl, toss, add the avocado slices and serve. We don’t think it’s worth the trouble of splitting this into two separate preparations. (We do think you should keep the avocado slices out until you serve, because tossing them with the other ingredients could result in a mushy mess.)
So how’s this salad taste? We really like it. The lime juice, basil, ginger and raw garlic make for a tart, sharp dressing.
And the broccoli stalks? You’ll enjoy them. As we said, when we roast or steam them, they taste just like the broccoli florets. Here, though, they’re appreciably different. It’s a more concentrated flavor, and the consistency — which is denser, almost like a carrot or turnip — is great
So. Broccoli stalks. Get into it.
Just don’t call it a carpaccio.
Broccoli Carpaccio with Broccoli Stalk Salad
Cooking Light (February 2013). Recipe by Amanda Cohen
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Nutritional information available at CookingLight.com
Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: about 4 slices broccoli, 4 slices avocado, and 2/3 cup salad)
Total: 40 Minutes
Hands On: 40 Minutes
Total: 40 Minutes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Thai basil
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 red bird’s eye chile pepper, minced (or red serrano chile)
3 large broccoli stalks (about 9 ounces)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ripe peeled avocados, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups peeled, matchstick-cut broccoli stalks
2 cups gourmet salad greens
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1. To prepare carpaccio, combine first 4 ingredients. Peel and slice 3 broccoli stalks into 2 x 1 x 1-inch rectangles, squaring off their sides. Slice broccoli lengthwise into 1/4-inch planks. Combine broccoli planks, 3 tablespoons juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Arrange broccoli planks and avocado slices on 6 plates; sprinkle with basil mixture.
2. To prepare salad, combine olive oil, 1 tablespoon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 2 cups matchstick-cut broccoli stalks, salad greens, and onion; toss to coat. Divide salad evenly among plates.