Can I Cook (and Eat) Broccoli Leaves?

updated Jun 4, 2019
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Q: I’ve got a huge amount of broccoli thriving in my backyard and it’s almost ready to harvest. My question is, can I cook the big leaves of my plants, or are they inedible?

I have a feeling they could be used like collard greens and I’d hate to throw them out if that’s the case, but I haven’t been able to find any recipes online that include broccoli leaves.

Sent by Adeline

Editor: Adeline, what an interesting question! It seems like they might be very tough and bitter, and that was indeed the case for this cook, who tried them:

Cooking Broccoli Leaves at Discuss Cooking Forums

Read all the way through that thread, though — it seems like the leaves are OK in small quantities, and when they are very thoroughly cooked. Also, this cook in the ChefTalk Forums used them in lieu of cabbage in a cabbage roll dish.

Readers, anyone ever tried cooking broccoli leaves?