Alright friends, I feel a little bit guilty even calling this a recipe. It is that simple. It may be, however, a vegetable you have never worked with, perhaps because you just weren’t quite sure what to do with it! Well you’re in luck! One of my favorite things to do is take intimidating ingredients and prepare them really simply, rendering them completely UNintimidating. Maybe broccolini isn’t at all intimidating to you, but it certainly is not a vegetable I grew up with. And come to think of it, I don’t think I ever saw in the grocery store until the last few years. I’m sure it’s been around, but I grew up in a Podunk town, and we were lucky to get mushrooms!
If you haven’t seen broccolini before, it’s actually a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It has long stems, large florets, and very little leafiness. It is not the same thing as broccoli rabe or rapini, which are similar but much leafier and far more bitter. Broccolini does retain a bit of bitterness, however. That’s why this method of cooking it is so fantastic. In this recipe I blanch the broccolini first, which removes any bitterness it may have. Don’t worry….blanch is just the cooking term that means cook it briefly in boiling salted water and then shock it in ice water.
This is really a very classic preparation for this vegetable. It’s simple and crisp. It’s a really quick dish to throw together, so for that reason it makes a great weeknight side. It’s got all of the nutrition of broccoli, but a milder flavor. So this may be good for the little ones in your family that are skeptical of broccoli!
Once you get this method down, you could add any old thing you wanted! I often make this dish but add fresh ginger. It gives it a bit of an Asian swing and some added anti-inflammatory goodness! If you like spicy, add a bit of red pepper flake. If you die for mushrooms, brown up some mushrooms before you add the broccolini to the saute pan. My point is, the possibilities are endless! Get wild n’ crazy kids. But if you’re new to broccolini, just try my Garlic Broccolini.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove top.
- When it comes to a boil, add a generous amount of sea salt to the water (the water should taste like the sea.....so very salty).
- Add the broccolini to the pot of boiling water and let it cook for 2 minutes.
- In the mean time, get a large bowl and fill it with ice water.
- When 2 minutes is up, the broccolini should be bright green, but not cooked through. Remove the broccolini from the boiling water and immediately submerge it into the ice water to stop the cooking and lock in the bright green color.
- Take the blanched broccolini out of the ice water and blot it dry on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel (do this so that when you saute it, you get splattered!)
- Heat the coconut oil in a saute pan over medium high heat on the stove top.
- Add the minced garlic to the pan and stir it around for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Make sure you keep it moving so that it doesn't burn! Burned garlic is bitter and nasty.
- Add the broccolini to the pan. Season with sea salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, making sure to keep it moving so that the garlic doesn't burn.
- Turn the heat off. Squeeze the lemon over the broccolini.
- Serve with an extra wedge of lemon.
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