My son planted a garden for me this spring. So far, we have enjoyed red leaf lettuce and butter crisp lettuce from it. I have also used the spearmint we’ve grown in a cucumber and pineapple dish that I love, and in iced tea. Because my broccoli began flowering, I researched whether I should toss it or whether it was still edible. I was fascinated to learn everything that could be done with broccoli.
As it turns out, broccoli can be eaten after flowering. In fact, the flowers alone can be purchased in some places for consumption. The stalk can be grated and used to make cole slaw (which I have seen but never tried). What I found most surprising was that the leaves could be cooked and eaten like any other form of greens. Tonight I cooked the broccoli spears and I also cooked the leaves, adding some bacon bits to them as they wilted. I was surprised at how good they were. They had the texture of kale, with a milder flavor.
I share all of this to say that I have always strived to be a good steward of what has been entrusted to me. In this case, food is the currency. I often use leftovers to make soups, stews, or casseroles. I just can’t stand to throw things away. Incidentally, growing my own broccoli and studying it has allowed me to use all of the vegetable. (I actually think I like the greens better than the florets.)
If you have any recipes that use other than traditional parts of plants, or recipes that utilize leftovers, I’d love to hear them.