While doing our weekly grocery shopping, I discovered an exciting, new (to me) vegetable. It was a dark, hearty leafy green that looked to be somewhere between kale and collard greens. It was not labeled, but considering it was the freshest looking thing on offer, I took a chance. When the produce attendant labeled the bunch as “broccoli leaves”, I thought it must have been a mistake. You can’t expect those guys to remember everything. Maybe he guessed. Does broccoli even have leaves? Heads of broccoli do come with those wispy little, baby hair leaves attached at the stem. I never considered that there’s more where that came from. I felt so duped, so ignorant. I even felt a sense of injustice. Why have the broccoli leaves been thrown away and hidden from society like the Flowers in the Attic children?
As I always do when I find new produce, I did some research and found that broccoli leaves have been getting more attention over the last couple of years, though it’s not clear to me how much this has caught on. I even found a couple of articles calling it the new kale. It totally makes sense. I imagine they cook down like other greens. You’d have to cut away the massive ribs, but that’s no big deal. You could substitute kale, collard greens, chard, or mustard greens in any given recipe with broccoli leaves. And this is exactly why I’m so excited about this find. It is very rare to find kale (or any of the other greens I mentioned) here in Saudi Arabia. When I do find kale, it is extremely expensive. Just the other day I was lamenting the lack of kale in my life. This may be the answer.
To get acquainted with my new veg, I made my go-to green juice. With no kale to speak of, I’ve recently been making this juice recipe with romaine and arugula, but it works with any leafy green. A darker, leafy green like broccoli leaves will deliver a bright green color, like a Kelly green, and a strong smell of chlorophyll, like fresh cut grass. Two sure signs that you’re doing your body well. You can also play around with the amount of each ingredient to suit your taste.