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Post  boffer on 6/8/2011, 11:44 pm

...ala Stuffed Cabbage Leaves.

I have 40+ broccoli plants right now; that's a lot of greenery to just throw in the compost pile after picking the main head and flowerettes. This was my first attempt to use the broccoli plant leaves for something. I present a recipe below that originally called for using cabbage leaves. You could use your own favorite Stuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe instead. My broccoli:
Stuffed Broccoli Leaves... Dscn0410

I parboiled the leaves: I put them in a pot of boiling water for one minute and then immediately into an ice water bath. This kept them pliable. I dried them off and then cut out the stem. I used 1½ leaves per roll; the ½ leaf covered the space in the whole leaf.
Stuffed Broccoli Leaves... Dscn0411

The recipe that I used:

12 broccoli leaves
1 pound ground beef
¼ cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cup cooked rice
½ teaspoon salt
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 dash of pepper
¼ cup catsup
1 egg
8 ounces of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon basil leaves
4 ounces grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350°F. In large skillet, brown ground beef, celery, and onion; drain fat. Add rice, salt, tomato, pepper, catsup, and egg. MIx well; heat through. Divide mixture onto broccoli leaves. Fold edges in; roll filling inside each leaf. Place rolls in baking dish. Combine tomato sauce, sugar, and basil; spoon over broccoli rolls. Cover with foil. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese, return to oven for five more minutes.

This recipe should make 12 rolls; unless you're like me and tend to over-stuff them; I got 8.
Stuffed Broccoli Leaves... Dscn0414

Don't they even look healthy?!
Stuffed Broccoli Leaves... Dscn0412

They were delish; broccoli leaves were tender and not bitter. A keeper.
Stuffed Broccoli Leaves... Dscn0413
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Post  sherryeo on 6/8/2011, 11:55 pm

You have got to be kidding me! You're not only Super-Gardener-Man, but you cook, too? I've never tried growing broccoli here on the Mississippi coast, but have heard it can be done. I'll sure try this recipe if I succeed at growing it! It looks yuummmmmy! Stuffed Broccoli Leaves... 211713
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Post  westie42 on 6/9/2011, 12:05 am

lets have a pot luck and have Boffer supply the broccoli rolls.
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Post  Kelejan on 6/9/2011, 12:33 am

boffer, surely you will need 18 leaves for your recipe seeing as you use a hal-leaf to fill in the gap?

The results certainly look very tasty. I wonder if it would work with swiss chard?
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Post  westie42 on 6/9/2011, 12:38 am

Or collard greens too. Well why not one of each for a complete vitamin fix.
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Post  walshevak on 6/9/2011, 1:57 am

Rather than throw away my broccoli leaves, I just steamed em like cabbage and served with hot pepper vinegar.

Was actually pretty good. This is also how I cook collards now that I've gotten away from boiling them to death with salt pork.

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Post  Lavender Debs on 6/9/2011, 9:37 am

Thanks so much B! All those little side shoots could probably go into the hamburger mix.
Deborah...hungry
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Post  Blackrose on 6/9/2011, 1:50 pm

Brilliant! thanks
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Post  Miss M on 6/9/2011, 2:46 pm

Woooooooooooooooooow..... Shocked

That's amazing!
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Post  jbh29 on 6/9/2011, 3:16 pm

Great recipe! Do you wait to harvest your broccoli leaves until after the broccoli is harvested? Do you harvest a few leaves as they grow?
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Post  staf74 on 6/9/2011, 3:17 pm

Notice all the replies from the ladies eh Boff !!!!

Being a master gardener AND an amazing cook to boot makes you hot property Wink
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Post  boffer on 6/9/2011, 5:48 pm

jbh29 wrote:Great recipe! Do you wait to harvest your broccoli leaves until after the broccoli is harvested? Do you harvest a few leaves as they grow?

I had harvested the main heads; I don't know if it makes a difference. I think it would be OK to take lower leaves because the sideshoot flowerettes are mainly on the upper 2/3 of the stalk.

staf74 wrote:Notice all the replies from the ladies eh Boff !!!!
Being a master gardener AND an amazing cook to boot makes you hot property

I was 20 and single when I took a cooking class at the community college; I was the only guy. I didn't accomplish my primary objective that semester, but I learned a lesson that served me well in the years to come! Wink





OK...so ate I them the way a real man would...right out of the cooking dish. I want to serve them to my wife tomorrow night, and I'm at a total loss as to what to serve with them or how to plate them to look good. Help!
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Post  martha on 6/9/2011, 6:26 pm

I'll get my husband on this later tonight - stay tuned!
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Post  stripesmom on 6/9/2011, 6:34 pm

Boffer, since it has a veg, meat and cheese and carb, the only thing missing is a fruit. You could also serve a nice fresh veggie salad on the side. Or a dessert. But, what ever you seve on the side, it would be best to go light, since this is a heavy dish in itself and looks delicious! Personally, I'd serve fresh fruit as a dessert, maybe with a honey or yogurt dressing.
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Post  Ha-v-v on 6/9/2011, 6:51 pm

Way nice recipe boffer !! I really want to make use of all things in the garden Smile Including leaves ! of the plants that can be eaten. Thanks for sharing.
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Post  Goosegirl on 6/9/2011, 11:05 pm

I love the recipe! The way we are heating up I may not get much of a broccoli head, but it is great to know that I can use the leaves! Would kohlrabi leaves be similar - as in, edible?

GG
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Post  middlemamma on 6/10/2011, 12:41 am

That sounds yummy boffer... Smile Thanks for sharing...
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Post  CindiLou on 6/10/2011, 1:55 am

Sent your final product picture to my cousin. Her family is like mine and no way will they even like the smell rofl..
We are setting a time to make us both some and as she said "chow down" rofl...
We are going to try to freeze some too so that will be interesting.
She has broccoli planted in her row garden. Oh my, is she ever upset that I have been harvesting and not her! She couldn't get her garden tilled till the last of May due to rain!
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Post  Furbalsmom on 6/10/2011, 12:19 pm

Boffer, DH is not especially adventurous when it comes to food, I kind of have to sneak stuff into the recipes. He does like cabbage rolls, so another experiment is coming. Thanks for the recipe.

I agree with the former posters that a salad and fruit would be just right with this recipe.
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Post  pattipan on 6/10/2011, 12:45 pm

Possible sides for stuffed broccoli leaves (or cabbage rolls)...




In addition to the above, I would probably have cantaloupe, honeydew and cottage cheese on the table.

I made something similar with Swiss Chard leaves last summer. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/stuffed_chard_with_fresh_marinara.html . I think I'll try boffer's version this week with the chard leaves!

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Post  jbh29 on 6/10/2011, 1:35 pm

We live a very low carb lifestyle in our house and the first thing I though of for 'dressing up' this dish on the plate is a white wine reduction sauce. It's my favorite thing to add to any meat, it's easy to make and it tastes divine!

Simmer 1 cup of dry-ish white wine until it is reduced to 1/2 cup. (I pour it back into a measuring cup periodically to check the progress.)

While the wine is simmering (it takes 5 or 10 minutes) make a roux to thicken your sauce:

Melt 1/2 cup butter in small pan. Stir in 1/2 cup flour (I use white whole wheat - you can use
plain white), 1 teaspoon dried basil and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.
(you will only use a few tablespoons of the roux. Save the rest in a small container in your fridge and use it to thicken other sauces or soups. It lasts for a long time. This roux has become my staple thickener for everything. It adds great flavor to any meat juices for gravey.)

Once your wine is reduced to 1/2 cup, stir in 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 4 tablespoons butter and heat until butter is melted. Stir about 2 tablespoons of the roux into your cream/wine sauce, stir until thickened like a gravey. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

This poured over the broccoli leaf wraps would add a special touch.
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Post  Furbalsmom on 6/10/2011, 3:02 pm

pattipan, I make a similar veggie pasta salad, but add diced cucumer and halved cherry tomatoes (or diced tomatoes), but I find it is better to drain the cucumber and tomatoes so the dressing is not too runny.

jbh, the wine reduction sauce sounds great. I will be trying that soon.
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Post  martha on 6/10/2011, 11:28 pm

well?
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Post  mijejo on 6/11/2011, 9:16 am

I love this idea! I think I will try it. However, although I have harvested the large broccoli, I am still munching on the flowerettes that are still maturing. I suppose the plants can spare a few leaves to this meal.
I have four huge (and several small) purple cabbages. Their leaves grow so enormous that I have to break them off. Otherwise, they would shade the plants in all of the neighboring squares. Do you think I can prepare the same reciipe with these leaves?
What about the leaves of the brussels sprouts?
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Post  boffer on 6/11/2011, 10:34 am

martha wrote:well?

Martha was kind enough to ask for an opinion from her professional chef spouse, and he wrote:
Cheese inside. Cut rolls into 1/3's on the bias.

Have a little extra rice - not with other stuff mixed in. Arrange a circle of rice around the plate. Make a clearing in the middle of the rice, so you can place the three pieces resting together like the supports of a teepee, with the pointed part towards the middle. Then drizzle some of the red sauce all the way around the rice.

So you have the roll in the middle, with two concentric circles, with no, without negative space.

If you have a few florets of beautiful green broccoli garnish with them - I would put a little pile of say three florets and serve the plate with the florets at the 7 o'clock position.


I will definitely try this...next time. I shouldn't have put the cheese on all the rolls ahead of time. They re-heated nicely in the oven, but not so pretty with the cheese on them. I just made a bed of plain rice to set them on, and served with a tossed salad. Dinner was a success!

I don't know about other leaves. You'll have to cook some up and try them! I also read that broccoli leaves are a good substitute in any recipe calling for collard greens.
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