Cooking Broccoli Leaves
If you mean the type of broccoli that is mostly leaves, with just little flowerets, then you peel the stems (annoying - here we can buy them freshly peeled at the market) and blanch, then drain and when you want to serve, you put some olive oil in a frying pan with a couple of cloves of garlic smashed, a couple of small red hot peppers if you like, and simmer a minute then add the leaves, and toss them around in the oil till they're hot and flavored. Simple, but great.
You could also use the pan you made pork chops or italian sausages in, add a little olive oil (drain off the pork fat first) and add the garlic and sautee in that pan, scraping up the browned stuff from the pork. Also traditional and also great.
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Anyway, if you are interested in some chinese stir-frying using Kai Lan, you can see some of them here at my recipe site.
Anyway -- there's a recipe in the Time Life book on India for Fried Spinach and Broccoli Puree that I've made several times with other greens such as collards, and would probably work with broccoli leaves. Original recipe is to puree 1/2 pound each of spinach and broccoli with water (separately, about 1/2 cup water with each). Then fry chopped onion and minced ginger in ghee, add salt, add ground cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, and garam masala (separately, stir after each addition). Add the purees a cup at a time and cook on moderate heat for 5 minutes, then turn the heat as low as possible and simmer about 15 minutes until almost all dry.
As for the leafy broccoli (where it's almost all leaves - to reply to mezzaluna) i think in america they call it broccoli rabe or rape, not sure. Here they are called broccoletti, little broccoli, but i remember something as a kid that my mother used to call rapini (which sounds more like turnip greens) - anyway, here they are not bitter and pretty tender, though you have to peel the stems, a real pain.
Broccoli LeavesI used some huge broccoli leaves today for "cabbage rolls." I placed leaves in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, removed and placed the stuffing in the broccol leaves and rolled them up.. Turned out great! Everyone loved them.
I have several plants that have huge leaves on them right now and I would appreciate any other ideas for cooking them.
You hit it on the head its rabe . Dip in boiling water a minute or two then ice shock
mix butter and olive oil in pan add chopped shallot, garlic chopped bacon, panchetta, or prozzut saute fast a little s&p and your in heaven,
( Plain american broc leaves are slightly different.)
To clear it up for you.. rapini is Broccoli Rabe here in the US. Some called it Rape. It's what you and I eat with sausage and orrechiette. No matter what, all 3 are teh same thing, just by different names. Here it is a bit of a bitter flavor, and it has taken me into my 50's before I've finally acquired a taste for it. Now, I eat it whenever I can. As my father said, "now, you're finally an Italian!!" ha, ha..
The Broccoli we have here, which I've never seen in Italy except for the broccoletti you mentioned (here it's broccolini) , has large flower clusters with heavy stems that need to be peeled and cut up to eat but most skp the stems and just eat the flowerettes from the top.
As for the broccoli leaves... by all means... eat those bad boys up!! You can do them up with the broccoli or treat them like a spinach, sauteed with some EVOO, garlic and some pancetta!! Put some parmegianno over the top and ... heaven!
We do have the big american style broccoli here, it;s called Broccoli siciliani. We eat the stems, peeled. The leaves of this can be quite tough. got to be peeled i think.
Anyway, why would anyone discard any of it? it's all great.
That's a great idea! I've been "experimenting" lately with stuffing different leaves -- chard, etc. -- and will try using other cabbage-family ones too, when I get them at the farmers' market.
If you look upthread, you'll find a few suggestions. I think you can't go wrong with any leafy green if you shred, blanch, shock, and then sauté in olive oil with garlic and hot pepper flakes. :lips: And I can vouch for that Indian recipe being really good with all sorts of greens.
Dirk, I had never thought about it before, but with a great crop of broccoli coming along and my daughter's insistence that one's diet should be primarily leaves, I decided to try them. I guess it isn't too surprising that broccoli leaves taste like broccoli and cauliflower leaves taste like cauliflower! I'm now adding them both to my daily salad.
Blanch in boiling water chill shock in ice water
Then saute garlic,shallots and bacon, 1/2 t sugar salt and pepper mix in leaves and toss till hot serve. Same thing for brussel sprouts.
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume).
Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...
The leaves of all Brassicas can be eaten (as far as I am aware) but be aware that Broccoli leaves are not dissimilar to Turnip or Swede leaves, i.e. VERY bitter. Great advice earlier about using it to bulk up soups but use with caution and make sure there is something there to balance out the bitterness.
I have been cooking and eating broccoli leaves and am happy to learn that others are interested. I lived in Kenya for 13 years, and various greens were fair game to eat with their basic "polenta" or (ugali) made with white maze meal. Greens used were collard greens of verious types, and when I returned to Oklahoma and had my own garden that grew huge broccoli with good compost, which had very large leaves, along with cauliflower, turnip greens or brussel sprout leaves. So I cooked them in a similar fashion. Tear off the large stems, because they tend to be hard, cut the leaves into very small slivers. In a big pot, fry 4 or 5 onions cut in slivers . I like olive oil. When looking a little brown, add 6 tomatoes cut up and cooked into a sauce, or use canned tomatoes. Add chilies, garlic, ginger powder, (not much) sometimes I use garam masala, an Indian mixture of spices, sometimes tumeric, When the onions, tomatoes start to seperate with the oil, I add the greens with some meat broth, fried chunks of beef, or a big ole smoked turkey leg, a ham hock or fried goat meat, and simmer that for at least an hour. In the end, it shouldn't have too much moisture in it, so let it cook down a bit. When done, turn off the fire, and if you want, (if the meat in it is compatable) add 2 big spoons of peanut butter and mix it in while it is still hot. You may wish to add a little sugar if the greens tend to be bitter. Serve with white maze meal polenta. In Swahili it is called "sukuma wiki" or scoot through the week. When you pay is running out at the end of the week, one could always eat sukuma.