Broccoli Stalks Can Be Used to Make a Delicious Pie

I’ve never been one to avoid broccoli stalks, but I’ve heard that people like that exist. I think I actually prefer the sturdier stems to the inflorescences that are dry, fibrous and fluffy when raw. (I want fluff in my pillows, not my mouth.)

But somehow, even though I prefer the bottom of the broccoli, I often find that I have a few remaining stems left. Either my recipe only requires flowers, or I was too lazy and decided I didn’t want to break the thicker stem. Anyway, I’ll throw it in a zippered bag and then put it in the refrigerator until I have enough to make a broccoli stalk pie.

Broccoli stalk pie is exactly what sounds like a set of broccoli stalks stacked on top of cheese and baked goods. It’s delicious, and my favorite thing is to “use up” the leftover broccoli stalks.

The format is pretty loose; You can make this cake as simple or complex as you like. At a minimum, you need frozen puff pastry, fresh goat cheese, and broccoli stalks. If a straight chevre seems too tart to you, chop it into a little cream cheese or mix it with herbs or another harder cheese (like Parmesan cheese). I tell you there are many things you can do with cheese.

You can also do the following with broccoli. I like to pre-fry mine until it starts to brown around the edges. I also like to season it with salt and MSG. If you have other veggie trivia, feel free to involve them too: some caramelized onions, some fried carrots, or even a spoonful of leftover mashed potatoes will be next to your stalks.

Broccoli Stalk Pie

You will need:

  • 8 ounces of broccoli stalks
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil (or frying fat! Or any other frying fat you like!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large pinches MSG
  • 6 ounce chevre
  • Optional: Fresh black pepper, herbs, or any other condiment you think tastes good mixed with goat cheese.
  • 1 sheet of ready-made puff pastry, thawed but cold
  • 1 egg, beaten

Cut broccoli stalks into 1/4 to 1/2 inch sticks, holding for as long as possible. (It’s okay if they’re a little wrong, so don’t overdo it.) Toss the sticks with the butter and season with salt and MSG, then bake in the 400 ℉ oven until tender and lightly browned around the edges. (25–35 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool completely. (Leave the oven on and set the temperature to 400 ℉.)

While the broccoli sticks are cooling, season the goat cheese with pepper and / or herbs (if used) to taste, then roll the dough out on a floured surface and smooth it with a rolling pin until smooth. You don’t want to roll it out too thin – you just want it even. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment and gently press the cheese on top, leaving a half-inch border around the edges. Arrange the broccoli stalks so they look attractive, brush the edges of the dough with a beaten egg, then place the whole thing in the oven until the dough is light and golden brown – about 30 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving (and drizzle with hot honey for extra support).

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