I’ve been in a broccoli sort of mood lately. Maybe it’s because I read that broccoli stalks are healthy.
So many people I know throw away the stalks. I actually think they are the best part. You have to peel them though, as I mentioned the other day (with instructions on how to do it).
Besides, it’s a big waste to trash the stalks, isn’t it? One of the things I learned at the China Institute when I took cooking lessons there decades ago, was how adept Chinese home cooks are using parts of products that other people throw away.
Like broccoli stems.
Try this recipe. The bread crumbs give the dish a nice toasty taste and crispy feel.
Broccoli with Lemony Bread Crumbs
2 stalks broccoli
2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs (any kind)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, cut into thick slices
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Remove about one inch from the bottom stems of the broccoli stalks. Peel the stems and cut the stems and florets into bite-sized pieces. Cook the broccoli in lightly salted simmering water for about 4 minutes or until barely tender. Drain under cold water and set aside. Mix the bread crumbs, mustard and lemon peel and set aside in a small bowl. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a wok, stir-fry pan or deep sauté pan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so until the garlic begins to brown. Discard the garlic. Add the bread crumb mixture to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, and breaking up the mixture into crumbs, for 2-3 minutes or until the pieces are toasty brown. Dish out and set aside. Pour the remaining tablespoon olive oil into the pan. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes to reheat. Dish out into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the crumb mixture and serve. Makes 4 servings