Broccoli and Kohlrabi in Miso Broth

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Braised vegetables go well on winter days. Young broccoli is so tender and bright when braised.

The garden centers are setting up for spring. I have been receiving emails advising me to consider my coming garden, and I am still thinking of winter vegetables. That is wrong. I am making plans for the spring by preparing the beds, but the winter vegetables dominate my thoughts, since I have been harvesting them for the table. Mustard that is a bit too spicy when fresh has a milder flavor in the stir fry. The kale an collards have a better flavor with the colder temperatures, but they are not as abundant (or I have been harvesting them heavily?). The cabbages are beginning to form their heads. Then I noticed that I could have broccoli for dinner.

    My children have always loved broccoli. I can see why a child may not like them when served raw but I have not understood the aversion to them when they were cooked. Freshly harvested the stems are softer, less fibrous. I saw some good sized kohlrabi as well. Then I went to pull up some green onions, and I found the cilantro growing in abundance. I also pulled up a few white radishes. On my window sill, the last green tomato from the garden had gone red. I was in the mood for a braised dish.
    Broccoli takes on a brighter green color when braised, and you do not have to cook it for too long. I began by taking a lump of misdo in some water. I began to simmer this broth, stirring to break apart the misdo. I crushed a few kefir lime leaves into the broth, instead of the bay leaves. I have been using the bay leaves from my tree quite a bit, but the kefir leaves I had not harvested for a while. I added a few cloves, soy sauce, crushed garlic, and black pepper. This simmered for a bit, before adding the vegetables. I cut the kohlrabi, radish, and broccoli to the same size. These simmered in the braise for five minutes. I added the slices green onions and tomato next. After a minute, I removed the vegetables to a bowl. I drizzled a little olive oil on them along with chopped cilantro. I reheated a few chicken thighs in the braise, and I pulled out roasted yams from the oven. The yams had a touch of butter with nutmeg.
    I saved the broth for the next day’s lunch. This was a soup made from pasta and the leaves of the kohlrabi. I added chili flakes to this dish. I would have added them to the braise, but the children do not eat spicy dishes all too often. I like braising as a cooking method. Frying in oil can sometimes go quicker. The fat in the oil carries the flavor well. However, braising can impart flavors as well. I do not always add the touch of oil to the braised vegetables, but I wanted that little glisten. I could have made a sauce with the braising liquid, thickening it with cornstarch and water slurry.
    I am almost ready for the new season. February could still bring freezing temperatures. I will wait till March with those plantings. For now, I will enjoy the winter vegetables, and just maintain the garden that I have.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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