Broccoli Shoots image courtesy of SustainableEats.com (http://www.sustainableeats.com/).
Many shareholders will be seeing a bag of broccoli shoots in their shares this week from Farmdale Organics and Pine Hill Organics, and Evan and I have received a few emails asking, "What are broccoli shoots??"
Once the central head of broccoli has been removed from plant, side shoots begin to develop from the axils of the lower leaves. These are broccoli shoots! Our farmers can harvest these side shoots for several weeks after they have harvested the main head of broccoli. They will look like small heads of broccoli and can be prepared similarly to a larger head of broccoli.
Enjoy the following broccoli shoots recipe adapted from The Food Network (http://www.foodnetwork.com/):
Broccoli and Cheese Soup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 bag broccoli shoots
½ cup heavy cream
1¼ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
seasoned croutons, for garnish
1. In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.
2. Remove the pot from the heat and puree in batches in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.
3. Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.
4. Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.