Conscientious Cook: Good Uses for Broccoli Stalks

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We'll confess to throwing broccoli stalks in the garbage can every now and then. The florets are so appealing, and the stalks take longer to cook. (Excuses, excuses, we know.) Many of you make a habit of eating them, which is great, and we're coming around. In fact, we threw some in a frittata last night. Get more ideas, below...Beyond the fact that we'd like to waste less food, broccoli stalks are delicious and healthy. They also don't seem to give off the same odor that florets do while they cook. Here are some of our best ideas for making use of them:

Toss them in a frittata. We can attest to this being good because we made one last night. We sliced the stalks into thin discs and tossed them in the pan with leeks and potatoes, then dotted the frittata with goat cheese before putting it in the oven.

Use them for vegetable stock. Emily's tip on saving scraps for stock is a great one. You can throw all kinds of misfit vegetable pieces in that pot.

Purée them. We know most of you are familiar with this Velvety Broccoli and Feta Pasta, since it's a very popular recipe. Stalks would work just as well as florets, although the color may be a paler green. We also think steamed, puréed stalks blended with cheese would make a great spread on bruschetta or even a sandwich.

Shred them into a salad or coleslaw. We love raw broccoli florets tossed in a sweet and spicy slaw. Stalks are a bit tougher, but if you slice them into matchsticks or grate them on a box grater, we think they'd work well.

Treat them like carrots or peppers. The flavor of broccoli stalks really is pretty mild, so you can toss them into soups, stir fries, and pastas without feeling like you're overwhelming the dish with the taste of broccoli. And they hold their shape. Try cutting them into chunks and roasting them in the oven as a quick side dish.

Any other ideas?

Related: How To Steam Broccoli in the Microwave

(Image: Flickr member Rick Harris, licensed under Creative Commons)

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