Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pickled broccoli stems

I doubt this needs even more publicizing, since the NY Times is one of the most widely distributed and read papers in the US, if not the world, but I feel compelled since its pretty awesome. This past Tuesday, as part of the Recipes for Health series, Martha Shulman wrote about making Pickled Broccoli Stems. Its one of those recipes that when you find out about it (and even more so when you try it) you just go "Duh, why did I never think about that?" I made it up last night, peeling the stems and salting them overnight. This morning before going to work out I poured off the liquid from the stems, and poured on a mix of 1 tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 tsp. olive oil, 2 very finely minced garlic cloves, and teaspoon of chili paste.

All I have to say is yum. And what makes this recipe so great, aside from how horribly easy it is, is that it uses what would normally be thrown in the trash (at least by most people). The hard outer skin of the stem is rather bitter, and the stems themselves are pretty bland. Peeling away the skin (which isn't as easy as doing a carrot but still pretty simple) removes the bitterness and the salting explodes some of the cells of the stem, making them tender without cooking. I'm going to have to keep stocked up on broccoli now and try some other flavor combinations out. I know, President Bush the First would be appalled, but maybe if he had tried this first he would have never banned it from Air Force One.