How your broccoli can reach its full potential

By Jim Bailey

Most people do not realize that the stem (or stalk) of the broccoli has so much more flavor than the florets that they discard them and eat the flowered part.

Whenever you use broccoli, simply wrap and freeze the stalks until you are ready to make this great tasting side dish … or meal! No bitter aftertaste and just plain good eats.

3 medium potatoes
1 cup 1/4-inch sliced broccoli stalks *
2 cups water
1 cup fat free (or regular) evaporated milk
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Wash, scrub and begin by baking potatoes for about 45 minutes at 350-degrees F. While potatoes are cooking, make the broccoli cheese sauce.

Place the sliced stalks with water in a medium saucepan, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling, reduce to medium high and continue boiling until very soft, about 15 minutes.

Remove lid and carefully ladle water and broccoli into a food processor or blender, a cup at a time. Pulse until as smooth as possible, transferring it to a bowl to continue with remainder of liquid.

Place the pureed broccoli and water back into saucepan, along with milk, both cheeses and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, whisk together cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water until smooth. Add cornstarch slurry anytime, whisking to combine well.

Continue cooking until sauce is thickened and bubbling. Set aside, covered, until potatoes are done.

Remove potatoes from oven, slit open and ladle on as much broccoli cheese sauce as desired.


  • Before slicing them, take a vegetable peeler and remove the outer skin from stalk. This will remove the stringy part.
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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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