Referred to as baby broccoli and used in Italian cooking, this vegetable was first developed in Japan.
Broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale (kai pan). Unlike broccoli, it is the side shoots of the plant that are harvested, not the main stalk. Thinner stalks (more like asparagus) make for a slightly sweeter taste than broccoli.
Grown in California in the summer and Arizona in the winter, you should be able to find this vegetable in your local market year-round.
Look for crisp green stalks with tightly closed buds. Stored unwashed in the refrigerator, broccolini will keep for 7-10 days, allowing you to use up the more perishable veggies first.
Whether sauteed whole in olive oil and garlic or chopped for a frittata, give this healthy hybrid a try. Adding a squeeze of fresh lemon and eaten at room temperature, turns this contorni (side dish) into an insalata (Italian salad).
- Broccolini, ends trimmed (little leaves left on)
- Extra virgin olive oil (Medium)
- Fresh garlic, chopped or minced
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional and just a pinch)
- Salt and pepper
- In a saute pan, place the broccolini and enough water to cover the stalks.
- Bring to a boil, add salt and cover and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the broccolini is tender (depending on the size of the stocks 5-8 minutes).
- Drain, add olive oil and garlic (red pepper flakes if desired) to the broccolini. Cook a few minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.