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What to do with bolted vegetables

bolted vegetable

 

I cooked mine and ate them!

bolted broccoli~

What are bolted vegetables?

When vegetable plants “bolt”, that means they focus all energy into reproducing. They very quickly produce stalks of flowers and seeds and stop focusing on producing leaves and the vegetable.

What causes bolting?

Hot soil. When the air temperatures settle into the heat of summer or there is a long stretch of hot spring air temps, the soil temperature is in danger of getting to warm. The signals the vegetable to start producing seed.

Bolting is a survival mechanism in a plant. If the weather get to be above where the plant will survive, it will try to produce the next generation (seeds) as quickly as possible.

What happens if your plants bolt?

If you catch them quickly, harvest what you can. Or in my case, buy really cheap stalks of bolted broccoli from the farmer’s market and cook them up.

bolted broccoli2~

Most bolted plants are entirely edible, but it can be bitter and tough. The key is picking out the most tender parts of the plant and throwing them in with other vegetables. I made this by stir frying carrots, onions, mushrooms, and the broccoli stalks with flowers. I cooked some fresh sausage with the vegetables and it was great!

I would not make this a staple, but instead of giving up on plants that have bolted, try to salvage some of the tips and flowers.

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