How can I reuse or recycle cauliflower leaves?

I randomly bought a cauliflower on Saturday – not something we eat that often because John has overboiled nightmares from childhood – and as I was stripping off the many, many leaves into the compost bin, I wondered if there were any other options for the leaves other than just letting them rot.

The first idea thing that came to mind – as happens a lot – is that when we FINALLY get chickens, they’ll like the green snack. (It’s been a year since we decided to get chickens, a year since I went on a course to learn all about keeping them but circumstances have conspired against us so far – we should have them soon though. A very frustrating wait!)

The next thing I wondered was if the leaves are edible – well, not just edible but enjoyable edible – by humans — and apparently they are. I found suggestions to use them instead of cabbage in bubble & squeak type dishes, a recipe for soup, and (my personal favourite) recipes for putting them in pakoras or bhajis. As an absolute minimum, I should be adding them to my stock box in the freezer instead of putting them in the compost. It’s brocolli stalks all over again – a versatile vegetable that we silly wasteful people throw away because we don’t know any better.

What do you do with your cauliflower leaves?

Related Categories

food, garden, items

Search for other related items

13 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle cauliflower leaves?”

  1. john says:

    chickens do indeed love cauliflower leaves, all brassica leaves go down a treat, they strip them bare in seconds, unless of course you chuck them in still attached to the stalks and they land in the middle of the flock at which point they just scare the shit out of them and they discover that they can actually fly much higher and further than you thought possible and you have to climb over the neighboring fence to fetch the buggers back.

  2. anna says:

    Use them like collard greens. It’s all cabbage leaves anyway.
    Or cut to thin stripes and stir fry them.

  3. caroline says:

    The vein bits are great in stirfries. The softer leafy bit can go in anything just like cabbage.

  4. Just wondering whether you could use the leaves as seaweed in Chinese starter dishes. Afterall, Cabbage is substitued in Crispy seaweed dishes.

  5. jeff says:

    Leaves are probably best utilised by being fed to livestock – they have the digestive system to properly process the leaves as food, but they should be washed first.

  6. andy crosby says:

    I use them on my farm by the truck load, Chickens , geese , ducks and goats all eat them. however start slow as it can give them the trots. 200 chickens will eat one ton in a week, and they are free but hold back when they start to lay eggs as they taint them

  7. Michael says:

    What a fountain of knowledge you guys all are for wasn`t I just a thinking the very same thing with my cauli. The cauli I bought had a disproportionate amount of leaves, so much so that after a while I was beginning to wonder if there was a cauliflower underneath all of the leaves. I have kept them in my salad drawer with the intention of looking up on the internet for a use for them and now perchance I have exactly the answer I was seeking. So thank you one and all and all and one.

  8. Anita says:

    I love cauliflower leaves! I cook them with lemon, pepper and butter. I slice them thinly, and let them cook a little longer than the flower part. This is one of my favourite things to make!

  9. Ryan Griffin says:

    You could use them in vegetable or chicken stock. Many people claim that cabbage can overpower a stock but I have not found this to be true. I tend to make stocks with whatever vegetable scraps I have available, and it is fun to taste the differences in various dishes. Just keep a gallon bag in the freezer and put all your scraps in when you prep.

  10. Kaci says:

    Bingo, thanks!
    My husband and I are hoping to get chickens too! When I read your second paragraph, I chuckled because we are in the same exact boat :)
    But won’t be feeding them to chickens when they lay eggs.
    Good adicve, all.

  11. Deborah says:

    Thank you for the advice. I will use all of them except for chickens.

  12. Nicol says:

    Cook them like grape leaves or cabbage and stuff them with rice and meats. So yummy!

  13. Pattie says:

    The leaves are a great addition to a green drink as are radish leaves.

Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)