Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sustainable Sunday: Broccoli Leaves

Broccoli leaves
I struggled to find something to write about on this Sustainable Sunday. The truth is I haven't been cooking much this summer, for a couple reasons.

As some of you are tired of hearing about, we are putting new flooring in our entire house, which is amazing and long overdue, but has taken longer than predicted. While we (actually mostly my incredibly talented husband) toil away at cutting, setting, and grouting tile, our house remains a cluttered and dusty mess. We just don't like being at home right now, and for me, competing with all the dust in the kitchen is less than ideal.

On top of that, I have been uber busy with work this year. I am back teaching middle school after my position at the elementary school was cut. This change is exciting for me, as it brings different challenges and I get to work with many teachers I respect and enjoy. It's just a whole lot of work starting from scratch in a new position with new classes and new subjects to teach. What I really mean to say is, I'm having trouble keeping up and staying positive. I'd love to be that person who embraces change and challenge with lots of energy and enthusiasm. In real life, I'm about to turn 30 and am just kinda over the constant change and challenge that is my job. That's all.

Broccoli overthrow in my garden. Look at all those leaves!
Can we get back to eating sustainably? I've been experimenting in my garden this year with some big ticket items like cabbage, eggplant, and broccoli. The broccoli has grown very well, but every time I harvest the crowns I wonder if it's worth the real estate in my small garden. The yield is pretty small compared to the room it takes up.

It turns out the leaves of the broccoli plant are edible. Rejoice fellow gardeners! Although, maybe I am way behind and you already knew this. You'll want to pick the leaves while they are still small and tender, bigger leaves will be more bitter and fibrous. You can cook them as you would chard, kale, or collards. I don't juice, but this would probably be a great addition to a juice or smoothie. If you do decide to use the larger leaves, remove the stem which will be hard to chew. Or, add them raw to this salad.

"Costco" Style Broccoli Salad
Also featured on Kahakai Kitchen 
serves 8-10 as a side

5 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups chopped broccoli leaves
1 cup shredded carrot
1 green onion, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup roasted & salted almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 white vinegar
3 TBL sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper
black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Chop salad ingredients and toss them in the bowl to coat. Allow the broccoli to soak up the dressing in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Great as a potluck item. Enjoy!


  1. I didn't know that you could eat broccoli leaves. Very interesting and good to know! Lovely recipe.

  2. I have never used broccoli leaves--interesting! Looks like a great salad and that it was enjoyed in a wonderful setting. ;-) Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen this week.


Aloha Saturdays with Maggy reader! Thank you for your comments, I love hearing your thoughts and feedback.


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