Yes people, it's time to Save Our Stalks, Steam Our Stems and Serve Our Shoots. Broccoli stems, in particular, are deliciously tender, and many people (including my mother) actually prefer them to the florets. Finely sliced into strips, leftover vegetable stalks or outer leaves cook very quickly and retain their goodness. Here's a great recipe for utilising the bits you might normally throw away.
3 or 4 thick broccoli stalks, about 150g
1 carrot, peeled
1 red chilli
2 spring onions, trimmed
100g snow peas, tailed
200g dried soba noodles
1 to 2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 small knob ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp soy or tamari (*check gluten-free if required)
2 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
sea salt and black pepper
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 lime or lemon, cut into wedges
1. Trim the broccoli stalks, cutting off any protruding leaves (save and include), then peel off the woody outer layer.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the broccoli stems and the carrot lengthwise, or finely slice. Cut each slice lengthwise into long noodle-like strips.
3. Cut the chilli, spring onions and snow peas into long matchsticks.
4. Cook the soba noodles in simmering water for three minutes, drain and set aside.
5. In a fry pan, heat the oil, garlic and ginger and fry for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, carrot, chilli, snow peas and any broccoli leaves, tossing well over high heat.
6. Add the soy, mirin, chilli sauce and sesame oil, tossing well.
7. Add the noodles, spring onions, sea salt, pepper and lime juice; toss to heat through.
8. Scatter with sesame seeds and serve with lime or lemon wedges.