It seems like a lot of people still see broccoli stems as scraps to be thrown away, but the truth is that broccoli is delicious in its entirety. The stems make up the bulk of the weight for a reason – they are totally edible, incredibly tender inside, and very versatile. To prep them, all you have to do is peel away the tough outer skin, and you’ll be left with a velvety ‘heart,’ which kind of reminds us of an artichoke heart. It can be utilized in so many ways – in fried rice, soups, salads, gratin, latkes, and even apps. This ‘tartare’ is an unexpected little number to serve on a snack platter, but we think that it will pleasantly surprise any guests. It comes together with the help of staple pantry ingredients, and tastes indulgent…but in reality you’re eating a bunch of broccoli. Win-win all around.
We came up with the idea for this recipe because broccoli stems get incredibly tender when steamed, and they take on flavor really well, like little sponges. We’ve seen various plant-based ‘tartare’ done before, like carrot tartare and avocado tartare, so we had the idea to try out something similar with broccoli stems. We marinated the stems with classic tartare ingredients like mustard, capers, and red onion (or shallot), and were so pleased with the result.
Give broccoli stems a chance! And enjoy :)
- 4 broccoli stems (or 5-6 if they're particularly thin)
- ⅛ of 1 red onion - finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons capers - minced
- 4 teaspoons mustard (mix of Dijon and grainy or just 1 type)
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons tamari
- sea salt
- black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- any herbs of choice - for garnish (optional)
- Prepare a steamer or steaming basket and boil water for steaming the broccoli stems. Peel the broccoli stems with a vegetable peeler, making sure to peel away all the tough outer skin, until you're left with the tender inner stem. Roughly chop the stems into about ½" thick rounds and place in the steamer basket. Steam for 10 minutes, or until very tender but not mushy. Once ready, chop the broccoli stems into finer pieces. You can chop them finely for a smoother tartare or leave them chunky for one with more bite.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the onion, capers, mustard, apple cider vinegar, tamari, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste, and mix. Pour in the olive oil, whisking it in to emulsify. Add the broccoli stems and mix to coat in the dressing.
- Transfer the tartare to an airtight container and ideally refrigerate for 30 min to an hour before serving, to allow the broccoli stems to marinate, and also for the olive oil to thicken, which will make the tartare easier to spread. Serve with your favorite crackers or toasted bread, garnished with any herbs of choice.