Shaved Broccoli and Parmesan Crostini

Shaved Broccoli and Parmesan Crostini

I feel like my food tastes are a little bit messy. A little indefinite. A little. . .  uncommitted.

I am seemingly fully committed though, to traipsing all over the food map, to trying a little of this and a little of that, to one day be a vegetarian then another day be a meatatarian, to then another day eat nothing but banana cake and pepperoni slices straight from the package.

Paleo? Sure, I’ll try it. Vegetarian? Yup, that too. Vegan? Eh, I guess – I’m sure it can be delicious, but really, could I ever give up dairy forever?? I think not.

I’m willing to give almost anything a shot, but fully commit to it? I’m learning I just don’t know who I want to food-be.

These are the things I do know:

I probably cannot live without cheese, sugar, or garlic, and baking is a life-style choice for me. Please don’t ever take it away.

They say if you look in a woman’s purse, you’ll learn a lot about who she is.

A good dump of handbag items on the floor the other day revealed a giant marble, a butter knife, a ninja doodle pad, heart candies, wintergreen Lifesavers, Advil, an heirloom hankie, three miniature fairies, sugar-free lollipops, my wallet, a matchbox car, sparkle lip gloss, peppermint chap-stick, 3×5 notecards, 3 pens, a Mardi Gra necklace, and umpteen grocery store receipts. 

Can you divine who I am from that?

What if you look in a cook’s pantry? What would that tell you?

I’ve got four types of flour – plus gluten-free, almond meal, curry powder, hoisin sauce, sriracha, garam masala, palm shortening, palm oil, olive oil, canola oil, Crisco, yeast, white sugar, agave, honey, maple syrup, molasses, rice noodles, pasta, quinoa, peanut butter, sunflower butter, almond butter, salted butter, unsalted butter, european butter, ghee . . . . See?

My cooking/baking self just can. not. decide.

It’s obvious I can’t decide on a permanent food path.

And the breads – I forgot the pile of breads.

Hamburger buns, whole wheat bread, tortillas, rice crackers, sourdough baguette. . . .

Which brings me to toast.

I love toast. Put that with the things I probably never want to give up.

More specifically, I’veShaved Broccoli and Parmesan Crostini got a weakness for mini baguette toasts – i.e. crostini – especially buttered or oiled and salted before toasting.

I’m dreamily immersed in An Everlasting Meal right now. It’s part cookbook and part (food)love story.

I can’t even describe it. It’s like reading a romance novel about the art and process of cooking and eating.

Every time I turn the page I want to eat something new. Adler even tempts me with foods I don’t even like – like soft-boiled eggs and mayonnaise. She makes me want to try them all over again, done the way she is doing them – because then I imagine there will be sparkles and magical, mystical swirls around me as I go about the preparations, and it’ll be a totally otherworldly experience all anew when the food meets my mouth.

And Tamar Adler – she loves bread too. Crusty baguette is mentioned over and over again to accompany everything from roasted veggies and cheese to soups, to soppy eggs.

Somewhere, she mentions broccoli stalks and shaving them down to make a salad. I don’t remember the details, but I remember sparks igniting in my imagination, my stomach rumbling, and my taste buds anticipating.

It’s something a bit like thisShaved Broccoli crostini right here.

The shaved broccoli concoction on its own is nothing particularly noteworthy.

It’s fine.

But when you toast baguette slices with a little oil, then rub them with raw garlic, top them with the shaved broccoli and paper-thin slices of parmesan, then drizzle on high-quality extra virgin olive oil with an extra sprinkle of coarse salt and a little fresh ground pepper?

There. There is your dream come true.

May I venture to say, that I have learned this about myself:

I almost never will take veggies over cake, but – I’ll take this shaved broccoli crostini every time.

It’s just  a plain delight in a million different ways.

So who do I really want to food-be?

Eh. I don’t know.

Does it matter?

I’ll be who I am, and I’m ok with that.

I guess this is my food-style: mostly healthy(ish), sometimes indulgent, large part classic and leaning towards traditional, always willing to try something new, and (most of the time) simple.

How do you sum that up into one or two words?

What about you? Who do you want to food-be?

Shaved Broccoli and Parmesan Crostini

Prep Time: 15 minutes

This shaved broccoli topping is the perfect way to use up the stalks of broccoli after you've used the florets for something else. These toasts, with a glass of sparkling white wine, hit the spot for everything from brunch to cocktail appetizers. Dont' be shy with the olive oil! This recipe is very loose - you make it in your own proportions and to your own liking. It's really just a guide to get you there in your own way.


  • broccoli stalks and leaves
  • olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • baguette slices
  • garlic cloves
  • parmesan cheese
  • coarse salt
  • fresh ground black pepper


Remove leaves from stalks and finely chop. Shave stalks with a vegeatble peeler. Place the shavings in a bowl. Top the shavings with a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, and chopped leaves. Toss lightly to dress all the shavings.

Oil or butter baguette slices. Toast them lightly ( use a toaster oven for this if you will be oiling first. . . . A traditional upright toaster might not do well with dripping oil or butter). After toasting, rub each slice with a raw garlic clove (to you taste). Top with shaved broccoli, thing parmesan slices, more olive oil and anothe light sprinkling of coarse salt and pepper.

Work fast, so you can enjoy them warm!


Sara|Home is Where The Cookies Are

9 thoughts on “Shaved Broccoli and Parmesan Crostini

  1. The Everlasting Meal has been on my to-read list forever–I mean, I already made a habit of making veggie broth from scraps on the regular (because it’s a tip originating from that book that I read somewhere). So I’m already reaping the benefits of its wisdom, and I’m sure there’s so much more!

    This sounds downright delicious, too.

    Lastly! Your post reminded me of this excellent article by my friend Kit:

    (Disclaimer, shameless plug! I write for Food Riot also.)

  2. These are gorgeous! I usually steam my broccoli stems and freeze them, then toss them into smoothies–but I think I like this re-purposing even better! And I totally think we need to see the inside of your bag next time. (I’m such a snoop, I live for that stuff!)

  3. Ooo. What a good idea to steam them for smoothies. I never thought about that – but they’re so mild they’d probably work like spinach. Another great idea! And – I really wanted to snap a photo of the contents of my purse, but I dumped it all out in a pile on the bedroom floor, took out all the garbage, and fully intended to come back in a few minutes to finish up going through it and re-appropriating, but the kids got to it first! There were so many toys, candies, and ninja oriented notepads that the photo-op was gone before I could get back to it! Next time. . . .

  4. Pingback: 8 easy and elegant Mother's Day dinner recipes - Cool Mom Picks

    • It’s raw. The outer skin will be a little tougher to peel, but once you get past that, it’s smooth sailing!

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