Sometimes my favorite part of a vegetable is not the traditional star of the show. Take celery, for example. While the ribs get all the love, what about the leaves? The latter are a fantastic addition to anything where you might use flat-leaf parsley. And then there’s broccoli. The “crowns” are so valued they are sold solo. But what about the stems? They are a delight as well. So buy the whole dang thing and after you’ve separated the florets, make pickled broccoli stems.
This is done quickly. In a few hours. No boiling. I don’t really measure anything, you can season the vinegar to your liking.
Pickled Broccoli Stems
- Two broccoli stems
- white wine vinegar
Cut the tough outer layer from the stems. Using a vegetable peeler, shave lengthwise strips of broccoli stem. In a relatively flat glass or plastic container, add the stems, cover with vinegar, and add salt and sugar to taste. Put a lid on and shake it up. Give the stems a few hours in the fridge or leave overnight. I ate half of mine after a few hours and the rest the next day. Can’t see them lasting longer.
Note: You can make the brine separately and taste for seasoning before co-mingling with the broccoli stems. That way it’s much easier to adjust the salty/sweet balance to your liking. I skew salty with a touch of sweet.
So what would you serve these with? I’d put them on top of a sandwich, use as a crunchy garnish for grain dishes, or toss ’em in fish tacos. Heck, just pour yourself a beer and go to town.
When you add a pickled component to a dish, I like to go with Riesling. It doesn’t have to be a semi-sweet/off-dry bottle, either. Dry Australian Rieslings would be great here, particularly with said fish tacos or a dang turkey sandwich with mayo and these pickles.