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Yes, you can grill that

By Penny Stine

I’m attempting to grow broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale this year. The kale that I planted from seed didn’t come up, and the kale that always overwinters and gives me kale most of the summer went to seed. I have a small patch of kale that’s doing OK, but nothing like I’ve had in previous years.

 

 

We eat a lot of kale, so I’m kinda sad about that, especially since we love roasted kale.

I was eyeing my broccoli and wondering about the leaves. As you can see, this broccoli isn’t forming a giant head of broccoli, but the leaves are beautiful. It's growing in a fairly shady corner, which could explain why the head is about two inches in diameter rather than six or seven. 

 

I googled the edibility (is that a word?) of broccoli and cauliflower leaves and discovered that yes, they are edible. I decided to try roasting them like I do kale and went out to the garden to see what I could find.

The Brussels sprouts leaves are pretty and they're just hanging out... waiting for the sprouts to do something. 

They're a long season grower, and I won't harvest the actual sprouts until late fall. What a good idea to pinch a few leaves here and there while I'm waiting for the real crops!

I ended up with a basket full of broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts leaves.The broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts leaves were all bigger than the kale leaves. 


Last night, it was a kajillion degrees and I didn’t want to turn on the oven. I was already grilling pork chops , so I figured I’d try grilling the leaves. I tossed them with olive oil and soy sauce, just to try something different.
I found a recipe that said to use a grilling basket, but my grill basket is small, so I simply laid them directly on the grill. We have an older Traeger grill, which doesn’t have an exact temperature control - I had it turned on high for the pork, which was probably more than 400 degrees.


At that temperature, it didn’t take long at all - so if you try this at home, don’t throw a bunch of broccoli leaves on the grill and go weed the garden while they cook. I turned them after 3 − 4 minutes and then took most of them off the grill after another minute or two.
They were crispy, charred and kinda smoky. My husband thought that grilling added an entirely new flavor sensation. Normally, I’m the one who hogs most of the roasted kale, but he had seconds (and maybe even thirds) last night. He wasn’t fond of my roasted beet salad with goat cheese and plums, which I adored, so I let him fill up on kale.  

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