Turn Over a New (Broccoli) Leaf

Young collard on planting bed

Young collard on planting bed

Young collard on planting bed

Young collard on planting bed

Looks like Tuscan kale, tastes sweet like sugar snap peas, and offers 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin C and calcium per serving. What is this miracle food? It’s broccoli leaves. No, not those little delicate fronds that you find on the crowns of broccoli (though those, too, are edible); these larger leaves grow around the stalk of the broccoli plant. Farmers previously used them just for cultivating the soil, but now they are being recognized for their nutritional power.

Like kale, broccoli leaves aren’t exactly a new thing. Italians have long grown a variety called spigariello, but unlike broccoli, spigariello’s leaves were always the prize, not the florets. If you can’t find broccoli leaves at your local farmers market, don’t worry; one brand is bringing the greens to the masses. Foxy, which is deeming the greens a “magical power food” even, has branded its product “BroccoLeaf.”

Broccoli leaves can be prepared the same ways as kale, Swiss chard or collard and mustard greens. Try them in soups, salads or sandwiches, or even blended into a smoothie. Here are a few other techniques to try on your first batch of broccoli leaves.


Substitute broccoli leaves for the collard greens that brighten this hearty dish of Braised Collard Greens and Butternut Squash.


Quick, simple and good-for-you mustard greens can be swapped out for broccoli leaves like in Anne Burrell’s Sauteed Mustard Greens.


Toss broccoli leaves into this Tofu Vegetable Stir-Fry.


Add broccoli leaves to Steamed Clams and Kale.


A one-dish casserole of baked gnocchi gets a dose of vitamin C and calcium with the addition of broccoli leaves.

Kiri Tannenbaum is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris and holds an M.A. in food studies from New York University where she is currently an adjunct professor. When her schedule allows, she leads culinary walking tours in New York City and is currently at work on her first book.

Keep Reading

Next Up

What to Watch: Turn Over a New Fall Leaf with Halloween-Themed Baking and a Triple-G Spook-tacular

Get all the details on the upcoming premieres this weekend on Food Network.

Kids Baking Championship Returns with a Supersized New Season

Kids Baking Championship is back for Season 2 with Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli, and 10 new young bakers, vying for the $25,000 prize.

Holiday Baking Turns Into a Sweet Battleground on the New Series Holiday Baking Championship

Food Network's new series Holiday Baking Championship puts home bakers into battle for a chance to win $50,000.

Cutthroat Kitchen’s Most-Evilicious Chefs to Return in All-New Tournament

Get the first look at the all-new Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious tournament, set to kick off on Sunday, April 19 at 10|9c.

Chopped All-Stars Returns With New Stars and an Action-Packed Season

Get ready for an all-new season of Chopped All-Stars on Food Network.

A Star Returns: Melissa Previews Sunday's New Episode As a Guest Judge

Hear from Melissa as she previews her upcoming appearance on Food Network Star on Sunday.

The Return of The Great Food Truck Race: New Season, Higher Stakes

Don't miss the season 3 premiere of Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race on Sunday, August 19 at 10pm/9c.