If you're looking for a meal that packs great flavor without sacrificing your health, this charred broccoli stem dish is for you. It even feeds your frugal side by using the whole vegetable. In fact, this spicy, nutty, sweet and sour recipe centers on one of the most underutilized parts of broccoli: the stems.
Underneath their tough and fibrous skin, broccoli stems are actually pretty tender and contain an equal amount of nutrients as the florets. The same goes for other vegetables such as cauliflower, Swiss chard and even romaine.
Peeled broccoli stems excrete moisture, so it is crucial that the cast-iron pan is over high heat and smoking. Once you've laid out the stems evenly in the pan, do not stir them for at least two to three minutes, or you'll miss out on that perfect char.
Cast-Iron Charred Broccoli
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 to 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
4 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon gochujang
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon ginger, finely grated
1 pound broccoli
4 tablespoons peanut oil
¼ cup spiced peanuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Fresno chiles, thinly sliced into rings
1 tablespoon green onions, thinly sliced on a bias
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, lime juice, gochujang, fish sauce, honey and ginger until fully incorporated.
2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cut the broccoli florets from the stems and peel the stems. Thinly slice the stems on a bias and reserve with the florets.
3. Once the pot of water comes to a boil, add the egg and cook for 6 minutes.
4. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the peanut oil over high heat. When the pan is smoking, add the broccoli florets and the sliced stems in an even layer. Char for 2 to 3 minutes, stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Turn off the heat, then pour the reserved sauce on top and stir.
5. Peel the egg and cut lengthwise into 4 pieces. Transfer the broccoli to a dish and top with the egg. Garnish with the spiced peanuts, Fresno chiles and green onions, then serve.