Do you have a bunch of broccoli stems in your fridge that you don’t know what to do with?
Please don’t throw them out! Pickle them instead.
Pickling is a process of preserving food in vinegar and brine (salt water).
The vinegar’s acidity helps preserve the food and prevent the growth of bacteria.
Not only does pickling help to extend the shelf life of food, but it also adds a unique flavor you can’t get from fresh foods.
Pickled broccoli stems are a great way to add some extra veggies to your diet.
They are also perfect for snacking on or adding to salads.
This easy pickled broccoli stems recipe is a great way to use up those extra stems, and it’s also a tasty way to get your vegetables in.
Let’s dive into how to make pickled broccoli stems, shall we?
What You’ll Need
- 1 lb of broccoli stems, trimmed and washed
- 2 cups of white vinegar
- 1 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon of peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 wide-mouth jar or container with a lid
Why use broccoli stems?
Broccoli stems are an often overlooked part of the vegetable.
We typically only eat the florets, but the stem is just as edible and nutritious.
Broccoli stems are a good source of fiber, vitamins C and K, and potassium.
When trimming broccoli stems, be sure to remove any tough outer skin.
You can do this by using a vegetable peeler or a knife.
Once the tough outer skin is removed, give the stems a good wash under running water.
Washing the broccoli stems is essential because it removes any dirt or bacteria.
It’s also important to dry the stems completely before pickling them.
- White Vinegar
For this recipe, you’ll need to use white vinegar.
White vinegar is made from distilled alcohol that has been fermented.
It has a high acidity level and is evident in color.
White vinegar is the best type of vinegar to use for pickling because it won’t alter the color of the food you’re pickling.
If you don’t have white vinegar, you can use apple cider or rice vinegar instead.
However, this vinegar will give the pickled broccoli stems a slight brown tint.
For this recipe, you’ll need to use 1 cup of water.
The water helps dilute the vinegar’s acidity and prevents the pickled broccoli stems from being too sour.
The sugar in this recipe helps offset the vinegar’s acidity and gives the pickled broccoli stems a slightly sweet flavor.
You can use any sugar on your hands, such as hand site sugar, brown sugar, or honey.
Salt is an essential ingredient in pickling because it helps to preserve the food.
For this recipe, you’ll need to use 1 tablespoon of salt.
You can use any salt on hand, such as kosher salt, sea salt, or table salt.
Garlic is a common ingredient in pickling recipes because it adds flavor.
For this recipe, you’ll need to use 2 cloves of garlic.
You can either slice the garlic or leave it whole.
Peppercorns are another common ingredient in pickling recipes because they add flavor.
For this recipe, you’ll need to use 1 teaspoon of peppercorns.
You can use any peppercorns you have on hand, such as black peppercorns, white peppercorns, or pink peppercorns.
- Bay Leaf
A bay leaf is a dried herb commonly used in pickling recipes.
It adds flavor and aroma to the pickled broccoli stems.
For this recipe, you’ll need to use 1 bay leaf.
- Wide Mouth Jar or Container
You’ll need a wide-mouth jar or container to store the pickled broccoli stems.
The jar should have a lid that seals tightly.
A mason jar or recycled glass jar works well for this recipe.
Step By Step Instructions
1. Add the broccoli stems to the jar or container.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
3. Once the mixture is boiling, carefully pour it over the broccoli stems. Make sure all of the stems are covered with the vinegar mixture.
4. Seal the jar or container with a lid and let it cool to room temperature. Once cooled, store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating.
5. The pickled broccoli stems will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
And that’s it! You’ve now made pickled broccoli stems.
Enjoy them as a snack, add them to salads, or use them as an ingredient in other recipes.
Just be sure to store them in the refrigerator and consume them within 2 weeks.
There are many ways you can change up this recipe to suit your taste.
Here are a few ideas:
- Use apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar in place of white vinegar.
- Add spices such as mustard seeds, dill, or red pepper flakes.
- Try pickling other vegetables, such as carrots, cauliflower, or green beans.
- Use honey or brown sugar in place of white sugar.
- Add a slice of lemon, lime, or orange to the pickling mixture.
- Use whole cloves of garlic instead of slicing them.
- Try different peppercorns, such as white peppercorns or pink peppercorns.
- Cook the pickling mixture for longer to intensify the flavors. Just keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t boil over.
- Use a different type of dried herbs, such as thyme or oregano, in place of the bay leaf.
- Use a smaller container so you can make a single serving. Thus, it’s perfect if you’re snacking on the pickled broccoli stems alone or adding them to a salad.
How long does pickled broccoli last?
Pickled broccoli will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
After that, the quality of the pickles will start to decline.
Can I freeze pickled broccoli?
No, it would help if you did not freeze pickled broccoli.
The freezing process will change the texture of the pickles and make them mushy.
If you need to store them for longer than 2 weeks, you can keep them in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
What can I do with leftover pickling juice?
The pickling juice can be reused to make another batch of pickled broccoli stems.
Or, you can use it as a vinegar-based dressing for salads.
You can also drink it straight or use it in place of vinegar in other recipes.
Did You Know?
Pickling is a process where food is preserved in an acidic solution.
The acidity prevents the growth of bacteria, which would otherwise cause the food to spoil.
Pickling has been used for centuries as a way to preserve food.
It’s a popular method of food preservation in many parts of the world, such as Asia, India, and the Middle East.
In addition to preserving food, pickling also adds flavor and texture.
The longer the food is pickled, the more intense the flavors will be.
They can also be used as ingredients in other recipes.
How do you clean broccoli stems?
The best way to clean broccoli stems is to cut off the florets and peel the stem’s outer layer.
You can also use a vegetable brush to scrub any dirt or debris.
Once the stem is clean, you can slice it into thin pieces or chop it into small pieces.
Pickled Broccoli Stems Recipe
- 1 Pan
- Add the broccoli stems to the jar or container.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Once the mixture is boiling, carefully pour it over the broccoli stems. Make sure all of the stems are covered with the vinegar mixture.
- Seal the jar or container with a lid and let it cool to room temperature. Once cooled, store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating.
- The pickled broccoli stems will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.