Tuesday, April 21, 2015

{Recipe Redux} Broccoli Stalk Salsa Verde

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a presentation that I’m giving at a conference next month.  The topic is how to make local foods affordable—cooking on a very limited budget.  As I stewed over ideas and started testing recipes and calculating costs, I had some ‘ah ha’ moments.

Part of saving money on our food budget is about not wasting food.  Every time we pitch uneaten food into the trash, we’re throwing money away.  The average American family throws out $1,600 worth of food a year!    

I started realizing the ways in which I’m guilty of that practice—not drinking all of the milk before it spoils, having a loaf of bread go stale, letting vegetables wilt in the crisper before I get to cook or eat them.  It adds up! 

So when I saw The Recipe Redux theme this month—spring cleaning, or using up all the ingredients that seem to hang around for awhile—it really hit home.  I’ve vowed to be more inventive in my cooking and put all those bits and pieces to good use—and nourishment! 

I have lots of ideas I've developed over the last month, and I'll be sharing those over the next few weeks.  But, I'm starting with broccoli stalks, which don’t get a lot of love.  Sometimes I roast them with the broccoli florets.  Sometimes I shred them in salads.  But I played with some recipes and found they are absolutely delicious when turned into a salsa verde, which is basically just a fancy name for a green sauce. 

I pureed the broccoli stalks (I didn’t even peel them) with cilantro, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, sea salt and red pepper flakes.  Use it the same way you would pesto or chimichurri.  I put it on top of a potato hash, mashed it with avocado for a zesty avocado toast, and just ate it out of the bowl with a spoon.

What are your best waste-saving tips? We’d love to hear!

Broccoli Stalk Salsa Verde

Makes about 2 cups

Stalks from a large bunch of broccoli
½ of a bunch of cilantro, stems and leaves (about 1 cup)
Zest and juice of one lemon
½ teaspoon sea salt
Large pinch of red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and process together until smooth.  Use as a dip, topping for toast, or sauce for eggs.  Or, use your imagination!


  1. I love this idea. I tend to eat broccoli stalks anyway as I hate to waste them but my husband always leaves them. THis is one way I could get him to appreciate them!

  2. Broccoli stalks? Brilliant! I'm definitely making this on Saturday and I have all the ingredients on hand.

  3. Very creative! Never thought of using broccoli stalks at all. Great way to use them up!

    1. Thanks! I'll bet you'll like it with the avocado toast! :)

  4. I love this! Such an awesome way to cut down on waste! I can't wait to see what you come up with in the upcoming weeks! Pinning & tweeting now :)

  5. Such a great idea! I need to get better about using ALL of the vegetables- I tend to throw away the tops of carrots, beet greens and really should use them. Can't wait to try this broccoli stalk salsa!

    1. Thanks Alex! Carrot tops make a good pesto! And beet greens I usually saute with other greens. :-)

  6. Lovely culinary creation! I can't stand wasting food and recycling broccoli stalks is just brilliant!

  7. This is genius, and it's such a pretty color too! Can't wait to try it!