Ingredient of the Week: Tenderstem Broccoli
Tenderstem broccoli is a relatively new vegetable to British supermarket shelves. It originates from Japan and is a cross between broccoli and kale. It is from the brassica family of vegetables, sharing nutritional qualities with cauliflower, cabbage and pak choi, as well as the 2 that it originates from. It looks and feels very similar to broccoli in that it has a green stem topped with florrets. However, the difference is that the stem is much longer, thinner and far more tender, and the florets are less densely packed together and more leaflike. It has a slightly sweet, delicate nutty flavour while also being crunchy in texture.
Why is it good for me?
Tenderstem contains high levels of Vitamins A, C and E, making it fantastic for fighting infection and disease. It helps to keep you fit, healthy and strong by acting as an antioxidant, protecting against oxidative damage to the cells in the body. It also helps to build healthy, strong bones as it contains good levels of manganese, phosphorus and calcium.
How do I prepare it?
Tenderstem requires very little preparation as you are able to eat the stem and not just the tip. Both parts take a similar length of time to cook, so they don’t need to be separated. Simply cut the stems to the length you require and cook.
How do I cook it?
Tenderstem can be boiled, roasted, steamed or fried. I find I treat it very similar to asparagus. I also feel it tastes like a cross between asparagus and broccoli as it has a slightly sweeter taste than normal broccoli. It is delicious ate raw, as well as cooked, try dipping it in some hummus or a runny yolk. It doesn’t require long to cook as it is best enjoyed still with a little bite. Try it in this sausage and broccoli pasta recipe, or this chicken and mango stir-fry. It makes a tasty addition to this miso salmon and broccoli quinoa salad or in this curried paneer and broccoli recipe.
I often like to swap it for other vegetables like asparagus, baby corn or green beans, like in this roast salmon and asparagus one pan recipe or this prawn and vegetable korma. I do really enjoy it when it has been cooked in coconut milk, so also try it in this green Thai chicken curry.
There is so much you can add tenderstem to, so give it a go and let me know how you get on.
Thank you for reading and speak soon.