Otherwise, Trash: Broccoli Stem Pickles
Pickles don’t require the forethought and planning cases of cucumbers and Mason jars suggest. Sometimes, the best pickles are the ones we dress quickly and casually, in the style of warmer weather. Pickling is a great way to use scraps of produce and fruit we would otherwise throw away (see: The Pickle Bank). As it happens, the brine I use for broccoli stems suits celery, spicy radishes, and soon-to-appear green tomatoes, too.
Stems from 2 bunches broccoli (about 6 to 8)
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 packed teaspoons fresh dill sprigs
Peel broccoli stems to reveal a light green flesh underneath their tough exterior. Trim a bit off of the dry end, where the stalk was cut from the ground. Next, cut stalks in half lengthwise and then again into quarters. They will look irregularly shaped—like the cross-section of a bone–and a faint green.
To a flat container or shallow, wide bowl,* add garlic, salt, sugar, vinegar, and dill. Add stems and toss to coat. Place in refrigerator. If brine does not completely submerge the stems, toss them every half hour or so. They should be ready to eat within two hours. They get even better the next day.
*You may use a jar or upright container, too, but you’ll likely need to increase the amount of brine to cover all of the stems.