In the spring and summertime when fresh produce once again becomes abundant I like to keep lots of fun and interesting things in the fridge that I can whip out at the last second to spice something up. Lots of pickles, lacto-fermented veggies, slaws, pestos, spreads, etc can totally take a dish to the next level. This recipe also provides a great use for broccoli stems, something most of us toss into the compost or into a stock, but their tender yet snappy crunch and mild broccoli flavor make them perfect for a slaw!
I dipped into Asian territory with the flavors for this slaw by making a scallion and cilantro pesto but you could always give this the ole’ mayonnaise, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and mustard treatment of a traditional cabbage slaw. The pesto is equally delicious on its own and makes another great fridge staple!
- 4 broccoli stalks, julienned
- 1 head of broccoli florets, lightly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro-scallion pesto
- 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
- juice and zest of one lime
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 thai chile, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted cashews, roughly chopped
- splash of rice wine vinegar
- splash of toasted sesame oil
- 1 cup, maybe a little less maybe a little more, olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
To make the pesto, combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in the workbowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and then, with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a thick paste is achieved. Remove to a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Done!
To prepare the julienned broccoli stems and carrots, you can either slice the stalks and carrots lengthwise on a mandolin and then julienne the slices or you can cut the lengthwise strips by hand with a knife. If you choose not to use the mandolin make sure you cut a small piece of the stalk or carrot from the bottom so that you create a flat surface for the vegetable to stand on. This prevents your veg from rolling away on you while you are trying to slice it ever so thinly!
Place the julienned stalks, chopped florets, julienned carrots and scallions into a bowl and toss with the pesto. This, like our quick pickles, just gets better tasting as it sits in the fridge. You can toss this with soba noodles for a cold salad (why, yes! I think I will do that!), top asian style fish tacos with it or just eat it straight out of the bowl!