For some reason, I hate the word "bolted" in reference to plants. Maybe because it seems so harsh and so quick, when really it was me who was lazy and didn't tend to my food. Or maybe because it sounds like "Bolton," as in "Lord Bolton," as in "definitely the worst Game of Thrones character ever, times one thousand million."
Another reason to hate that word: it usually means that your otherwise edible plant has passed to the realm of in-edibility. *sad face*
Broccoli is one such plant; if not tended to during the few days that it is ready to eat, it will suddenly bolt and leave you with a mass of humongous leaves and woody stalks and none of the fun stuff (if you consider broccoli fun, which I obviously do). Recently at our garden, we all had a very busy week or two, and alas, the broccoli bolted. But this thrifty forager wasn't about to rip out those plants and throw them straight into the worm bin! Nay, my friends - for broccoli leaves are perfectly edible, and can be prepared similarly to kale! And apparently, they have very similar health benefits to the broccoli heads themselves - that is to say, they are quite nutritious.
If you've never made fresh kale chips before, you haven't lived. Ok, that might be a bit dramatic, but I do love me some kale chips. Our kale isn't ready yet, so I thought I'd try to do the same thing with broccoli leaves, and guess what?! NOT BAD! They were certainly no kale chips (mmmmm kale chips), and they had a definite broccoli taste, but at least these nutrition bombs of leaves did not go straight to a lower life form (sorry, wormies. Love ya.)
To cook these up super quickly, I just chopped the woody stems off these leaves, chopped them up into strips, rubbed with olive oil, and layered them thinly on a cookie sheet. Throw them in the oven at 350 for around 10-15 minutes, then keep an eye on them. When they start to get brown, take them out and sprinkle with salt. Sometimes, I'll scoop out the browned leaves around the edges and put the inner ones back in for a few minutes to get crispier - up to you.
Probably just eat these right away. I haven't found a great way to keep these without them getting soggy but also somehow tougher. Leaves are weird.
Anyone ever tried these with other greens from other plants? I'd be interested to know how many of my veggies I can multi-harvest (and, therefore, how much moolah I can save).