Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw is crisp, colourful and totally delicious. I make it from simple, everyday ingredients and yet every bite of this salad is full of texture and bright flavours, all of which complement each other. It is the perfect side dish to serve with a barbecue, alongside a family dinner or to take on a picnic. It is also ideal to serve alongside a burger or in a sandwich.
But first, I must implore you, PLEASE do not throw your broccoli stems away.
I wince when people tell me that they discard them. They are delicious and there are so many ways in which to use them. Add them to home-made stock or use them in a stir-fry. You can cut them into strips as you would carrot or celery, to serve as crudites on a dip platter. Or, as I am suggesting today, use them in a delicious Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw.
However, the stems do have a tough, fibrous outer layer which is best to remove. All you have to do is use a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler to remove it. The interior of the stem is beautiful; it varies from the exterior in that it is a soft, pale green.
The stems have a lovely sweet flavour and their crunchiness adds great texture.
In fact, the stems taste a little like cabbage, so naturally, they work well in a slaw. It is not surprising that the taste is similar as they are both members of the Brassica family. The Brassicas, sometimes known as cruciferous vegetables, also include kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
Broccoli has long been touted as a superfood due to its high nutritional content and anti-cancer properties. It is high in fibre, Vitamins C, A and K, Folate and Calcium. In fact, health professionals recommend that we eat it at least twice a week. Therefore, to avoid repetitive dishes, it is important to have a number of ways in which to use it.
Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw is a great way to use the part of the broccoli which is frequently discarded.
I toss the broccoli stems, carrot and apple in a creamy dressing which is made from mayo, yet lightened with yoghurt, and flavoured with the tang of lemon juice. For a touch of spice, I use freshly ground black pepper and some Dijon mustard, their flavours balanced by a touch of honey sweetness. Add dried cherries to the top of the salad for colour and flavour
I cut the broccoli stalk into matchsticks, or, as known in France, julienne. It is easy to do this by hand, slicing the stem into thin planks. I then stack them and slice them again to make matchsticks. However, you could use a mandoline to julienne the broccoli or use a shredding attachment on a food processor. I shredded the carrot using a hand-held shredding instrument, similar to a vegetable peeler but this could also be done on a mandoline. I cut the apple in a similar manner to the broccoli stem, choosing to not grate the vegetables as I want the salad to have texture.
Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw is the ultimate side dish; it is full of crunch, with a refreshing flavour.
It makes a healthy, nutritious salad, with infinite possibilities for you to make it your own. You could add more crunch with the addition of some roasted almond slivers or cashews. Instead of cherries you could use dried cranberries, chopped fresh dates or pomegranate arils. Add some lemon zest or finely chopped mint to brighten the flavours. If you would like more spice add more Dijon mustard; if you like a sweeter dressing, add a little extra honey. Always check that the balance of flavours is the way you like it. Personalise this salad to make it your own.
If you’re making food for a crowd, my Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw
It’s a simple matter to increase the
I do hope you’ll try this – let me know in the comments below!
P.S. I love to serve this salad with my Easy Tuna and Potato Patties!
Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw
- 4 broccoli stems *
- 1 large carrot *
- 1 large apple * I used Pink Lady
- 15 ml lemon juice 3 teaspoons
- 1/4 cup dried cherries * optional
- 1/4 cup egg mayonnaise good quality
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- sea salt (add at the last minute) to taste
- Wash and peel the broccoli stems, removing the tough, fibrous layer, using either a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler.
- Cut the broccoli stalks into matchsticks/julienne. First, slice the stem into thin planks. Then stack them together and slice again to make matchsticks.*
- Add the broccoli stem matchsticks to a bowl.
- Peel and wash the carrot*.Cut the carrot into matchsticks using the same method as for the broccoli stem.
- Add the carrot to the bowl with the broccoli stems.
- Cut the apple into matchsticks, add to a separate small bowl and toss with the lemon juice.*
- Add it to the bowl with the broccoli and carrot and toss well together.
- Using the bowl which contained the apple, combine all the dressing ingredients well. Check that the balance of flavours is to your taste.
- Add the dressing to the broccoli, carrot and apple and toss well together.*Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to blend together.Season to taste just prior to serving*.
- Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and add dried cherries*.
*You could also use a mandoline to julienne the vegetables or use the shredding disc of a food processor. It is better if they are not shredded too finely, some texture is preferable.
*Whether or not to peel the carrot is optional.
*I left the skin on the apple for added nutrients and colour.
*Tossing the apple with the lemon juice will prevent it oxidising and discolouring.
*Instead of dried cherries, you could use dried cranberries, chopped fresh dates, sultanas/golden raisins or pomegranate arils.
*If you’re preparing the salad in advance, prepare the slaw ingredients and the dressing separately. Toss them together about a half hour before serving to allow the flavours to blend together.
*If you would like to add salt, do so just before serving. If done early, the salt will draw moisture from the ingredients, making the dressing watery.