A Slaw That Proves Broccoli Stalks Might Be the Best Scrap

March 20, 2016

There are no bad food scraps… some are just better than others. Like broccoli stalks. They’re one of the best. (Don’t tell them I said so, though. I think that’s akin to choosing a favorite child and all scraps are special little stars!)

Photo by James Ransom

But I’m not the only one smitten with these stems. Tara Duggan turns them into batons for crudités, stir-fry, or twirling (kidding, that last one's a different kind of baton). Home & Design Editor Amanda Sims browns them with garlic and anchovies; other Food52ers steam, grill, or poach them; and savorthis treats them like bones and scoops out the tender “marrow” within.

Broccoli stalks are also meant for slaw. Bevi’s Pretty Radish and Broccoli Slaw is one of those simple-sounding recipes that comes together as more than the sum of its parts—I can almost guarantee you’ll want to work it into your regular rotation.

Photo by James Ransom

The recipe calls for juice of a 1/2 a Meyer lemon, so make it as written while the season is still here. If Meyer lemons are already gone in your neck of the woods, though, don’t fret—this is a flexible and forgiving slaw: Use regular lemon juice—you just might need to add a touch more agave nectar. Use honey instead of agave nectar if you don’t need it to be vegan. Use whatever varieties of radishes you can get your hands on. And, as Bevi adds, “You can use dried cranberries, raisins, or currants instead of dried cherries, and any chopped nut in lieu of pistachios.”

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Bevi calls for running the broccoli stalks and radishes through the shredding blade of a food processor, but it’s not necessary. If you don't have one, a box grater will work just as well. Alternatively, if, like me, you enjoy unnecessarily complicating kitchen tasks for yourself (especially as a means of procrastination), the salad also looks nice with the vegetables julienned.

Know of a great recipe hiding in the Food52 archives that uses an overlooked kitchen scrap (anything from commonly discarded produce parts to stale bread to bones and more)? Tell me about it in the comments: I want to know how you're turning what would otherwise be trash into a dish to treasure!

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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • HalfPint
  • Betsey
  • Katey501
  • jakestavis
  • SMSF
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


HalfPint March 21, 2016
I've always preferred the stalk over the florets. Those florets have this spongey texture that feels so weird to me.
SMSF March 22, 2016
I agree 100%! Sort of sad to see the best part of the vegetable relegated to "scraps"...
Betsey March 21, 2016
I don't like broccoli at all but I buy the little bags of broccoli slaw all the time.
Katey501 March 20, 2016
I just started doing this myself to not waste any of the broccoli. I made mine with parsnips and carrots in a creamy Dijon dressing. So good.
jakestavis March 20, 2016
they're also great pickled!