dcsimg

Preparing Veggies - Stalks, Inflorescents, And Legumes

Preparing Veggies - Stalks, Inflorescents, And Legumes

All About Stalk Vegetables

Stalks are a category of vegetables whose stalks or stems are eaten. Stalks are best when they are young, small, and tender. The older and larger the get, the more fibrous and tough to chew they become. When purchasing stalk vegetables, look for those that are firm and smooth, without any discolored spots or bruising. Stalks tend to be very unique and intense in flavor and in most cases cooking mellows the intensity. Some of the better known stalks are celery, rhubarb, cardoons, asparagus, and fennel (although fennel is often categorized as a root.) Stalks are best stored wrapped in a damp paper towel and placed in a perforated bag in the refrigerator.

Getting to Know Inflorescent Vegetables

Inflorescents are vegetables whose flowers or buds are eaten. Some of the more common inflorescents are broccoli, cauliflower, rapini, and artichokes. When purchasing broccoli, cauliflower, and rapini, look for bunches with florets that have compact clusters and avoid any with open flowers or those that are yellow, bruised, or wilted. Artichokes should be compact and heavy for their size with leaves that are tightly packed together. Loosely spread leaves indicate an older, overripe artichokes that is tough with a very large choke. Inflorescents are best when stored in a perforated bag in a refrigerator drawer.

The Ins and Outs of Legumes

Legumes, while not technically vegetables, are often categorized as such. Legumes are plants that produce edible seeds in pods that are often also edible. The legumes that are most often associated with and treated as vegetables are green and wax beans; sugar, snap, and English peas; soybeans and fava or broad beans. When purchasing fresh legumes, always look for pods that are bright green and smooth looking. Avoid any that appear to be bruised, wrinkled, yellow, or spotted. Most legumes do not store well because their sugars quickly convert to starch and they become bitter or tasteless.

Recipe for Success

For details instructions on how to prepare stalk, inflorescent, and legume vegetables, check out the recipes on the right!

About the Author

After receiving degrees from the University of Wisconsin and the Culinary Institute of America, Andrea Rappaport moved into a full-time career in the restaurant business. For over 12 years, she worked in various culinary jobs, including as a cook for Wolfgang Puck at Spago, and ultimately as the executive chef and partner of the highly revered San Francisco restaurant Zinzino. For the past seven years, Andrea has worked as the private chef for one family in the San Francisco area, and continues to expand her culinary portfolio by catering, teaching, and consulting.

Featured Culinary Schools

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses