Vegetable Stalks, More than Stems
Waste not, want not. Use cauliflower and broccoli stalks to score100% on your produce utilization exam.
“It’s as if stalks are a poisonous part of a plant, and not to be used…”
For many operators, cauliflower and broccoli stalks are looked upon as waste, using only the florets while discarding the stalks and leaves is a common practice. It would seem that the stalks and leaves of these produce-staples is subpar, not an actual usable item, with no flavor to be had. This is far from the truth as both cauliflower and broccoli stalks have all the flavor of their floret siblings. What they lack is the visual appeal and tender tooth found in florets.
Don’t let this be an obstacle, rather a challenge of your culinary creativity. Try using new techniques and equipment to transfer these flavors while transforming their visual appeal. Using tools such as super-high RPM blenders, food processors that allow for shredding and granting, meat grinders and sous vide equipment will all aid you on the path to 100% produce utilization.
Let 2019 be the year of the stalk!
Stockpile of ideas:
- Grate and use in stir fries, in pizza crust, in savory scones
- Shred and use in slaws or on salads
- Peal and cut into scallop like medallions and sous vide with butter and seasonings
- Roast and use for a soups or purees
- Grind together with Garbanzo Beans when making Felafel mix
- Use in rice dishes or in risotto
- Pickle grated cauliflower in a turmeric based brine to add a vibrant color to relishes
- Grate, mix with herbs & olive oil and use as a creative crust for chicken or fish