We’ve seen it at the stores but what is broccolini and how do we cook it? I share my recipe for how to cook broccolini. It’s the best way and the healthiest way in my opinion. I add in some Italian ingredients to liven it up and I think you’ll find it’s very easy to prepare and serve… quick!
What is Broccolini?
Broccolini. It is what is sounds like, a form of broccoli, just smaller. Well, not exactly. Broccolini according to Wikipedia is a “natural hybrid of broccolini and gai lan, both cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea.” What is gai lan? It’s a Japanese vegetable!
So all those Italian recipes about how to cook Broccolini… it’s actually using a vegetable that’s 50% Japanese!
Broccolini is known for its smaller florets than regular broccoli and it also has longer thinner stalks. All of which are edible. It is known for having a sweet flavor and has slight undertones of asparagus (although not related).
Also, don’t confuse this version of broccoli with broccoli rabe. They may be cousins but they aren’t the same. This version of broccoli can go by multiple descriptions such as, baby broccoli, asparation, sweet baby broccoli, broccoletti, broccolette, bimi, Italian Sprouting broccoli, and tenderstem.
How to Cook Broccolini on the Stove
This beautiful green vegetable is very easy to cook and prepare in Italian cooking. In terms of ingredients you use the same as if you were cooking with regular fresh broccoli as I do in my Italian broccoli recipe.
You can saute, steam or fry the vegetable. I’ve even seen recipes for grilling it which I have yet to try.
However to prepare this vegetable with an Italian twist just follow my recipe below! Feel free to modify as you see fit.
What to Serve Broccolini With?
Nutritional Information about Broccolini
Broccolini is a healthy vegetable, and I recommend trying it. It is loaded with vitamin C, and contains A, calcium, E, folate, iron and potassium. It’s low in calaries coming in at 35 per serving, and certainly does not qualify for empty calories category.
However, keep in mind that the nutritional level of your broccolini will be influenced by the additional ingredients you use to cook it with. For example, cooking it (which once cooked loses a bit of the nutritrion) with layers of Velveeta cheese or a rich cream sauce will diminish the positive side of this “tenderstem”.
Italian Broccolini Recipe
- 1 bunch broccolini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sliced garlic cloves
- 1 dash lemon juice
- Wash and clean the broccolini thoroughly
- Unlike regular broccoli, you want to keep the stems. Trim the ends and then simply slice the stalks lengthwise.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil
- Add the broccolini and cook for 1-2 minutes until they turn bright green
- Remove from boiling water and set aside (run under cold water to stop cooking if you want)
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan and add in sliced garlic
- Saute the garlic about 30 seconds stirring so they don’t burn (if that happens start over!)
- Once garlic is fragrant, add in the broccolini and stir so the broccolini is coated in the oil and heat them through for about 2 minutes
- Sprinkle with the lemon juice and remove from heat.
- You’re ready to serve!