Brocolli stems

Joined Jan 31, 2010
Can someone suggest a good way to cook brocolli stems? I have a small backyard garden here (Bahamas) and I am harvesting my 2nd ever crop of brocolli - small florets but plenty stems & leaves. Seems a pity to just throw them into the compost bin. Any ideas?

Capt plug
Joined Feb 1, 2007
If by stems you mean the part the florets grow out of, all you have to do is peel them, then treat them pretty much like the florets. You might want to slice or dice them so they cook evenly.

Raw they make a great slaw as well.

If by stems you mean the main branch of the plant, that's not particularly edible.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
I peel them, cut them on the bias and stir fry along with the florets.

If I have guests and want a fancier stir fry without stems, my wife and I will eat the stems raw as I'm cutting the florets.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
The stems being thicker often take a minute or two longer than the florets to cook. But they're my favorite part of broccoli.
Joined May 26, 2001
I find they work better for cream of broccoli soup (pureed) than the florets -- they completely blend in, without leaving tiny dark green specks floating around. :eek:

Agree with KYH about peeling, especially the thicker "trunks." But they work well for any dish where you'd use broccoli, especially stir-fries. I never understand why anyone would NOT use them!
Joined Jul 31, 2000
I agree, The stem is perfect to tourne, add to soups. Makes a nice addition to Bagna Couda also.
Joined Jan 31, 2010
Thanks for the quick responses. I think I'll try the stir fry first. Now I just need to figure out why the florets didn't grow so big!

Capt Plug.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Love the stems. Can be used in any stir fry dishes - cook them about the same time as you would for carrots. Also, as mentioned above, great addition to a veg soup. Personally, I don't bother with peeling them. That's just what I do. Adds more fibre to your meal, so that's not a bad thing.

Edit: Don't know why the florets are small - are they ready to harvest or should you leave them a little longer on the plant? It may be worth posting the question in the Chefs Garden Forum.

Another Edit: you can cut the stems straight across, cook them, and serve them to kids as "Stars" works :) then they're eating greens and enjoying them.
Joined Jan 27, 2010
I can suggest that you can just peel them, then you can add it to any of your stir fried recipes. It surely is going to be a great addition to your dish.
Joined Jan 31, 2010
I made soup and it was great! Thanks for the suggestions, I will be asking for more help going forward.

Capt Plug.
Joined Feb 4, 2010
I don't bother cooking the stems--once you peel the thin but tough fiber-rich outer skin with a paring knife, the inner part is crisp and delicious to eat raw or slice up into salad. They are yummy!

Joined Dec 2, 2009
This topic is long enough without my .2, but I was admiring our new "Super" Kroger yesterday and came upon the broccoli. The stalks were at least 7 in long and very thick. The florets? All of them together were the size of about 3 carnations. Sad, sad, sad.

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