Is Broccolini “Baby” Broccoli

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Most of us are familiar with broccoli, a member of the cabbage family that has thick, crisp stalks topped with rounded green florets. It has a grassy, earthy flavor that’s mildly bitter. And while we most often reach for the florets, the whole plant really is edible.

So, what the heck is Broccolini?

Even though it does look like it, Broccolini is not baby broccoli. The longer lanky version of broccoli is actually a hybrid. It was first created in 1993, and is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It has small florets, long stalks, and a few small leaves — all of which are edible.

Compared to the bitter flavor of regular broccoli, Broccolini is more mild, with a sweet, earthy taste. And while it can be eaten raw (I like it raw), Broccolini is can be sautéed, steamed, roasted, and grilled.

Broccolini with Butter Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 large bunch broccolini
1 cup cooked butter beans (or lima beans)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Half a lemon, zested
Pinch of chili flakes
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Warm a cast iron skillet over a high heat. Once the pan is piping hot, drizzle in the olive oil and add the broccolini, making sure all of the stems have equal surface area — you really want to get a good, even char here. Season with a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. Flip over the broccolini once it browns, after about 3 minutes, and add the minced garlic. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side.

Once the broccolini is lightly charred on both sides, deglaze the plan with the vinegar. As soon as the liquid evaporates, fold in the beans. Once warmed through, sprinkle the top with lemon zest, a small pinch of chili flakes, and toasted almonds.

Serves 4, each serving contains: Calories 219, Fat 13.2 g., Carbohydrates 18.9 g., Fiber 5.3 g.,

Sugars 1.7 g., Protein 7.9 g., Sodium 7 mg.

 

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini

1 21/2 to 3 pound spaghetti squash, halved and lengthwise seeded

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch broccolini, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

2 tablespoons water

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450°F.

Place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish; add 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh is tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400°F oven until the squash is tender, 40 to 50 minutes.)

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccolini, garlic and red pepper (if using); cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add water and cook, stirring, until the broccolini is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl.

Use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the bowl. Place the shells in a broiler-safe baking pan or on a baking sheet. Stir ¾ cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into the squash mixture. Divide it between the shells; top with the remaining ¼ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

Bake on the lower rack for 10 minutes. Move to the upper rack, turn the broiler to high and broil, watching carefully, until the cheese starts to brown, about 2 minutes.

Serve 4, each serving contains: Calories 194, Fat 11 g., Carbohydrates 15 g., Fiber 2 g.,

Sugars 5 g., Protein 11 g., Sodium 609 mg.

Blistered Broccolini

1 pound fresh Broccolini, trimmed

Cooking spray

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

3/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 lemon wedges

Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Arrange Broccolini on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with oil, and toss to coat. Broil until lightly charred and crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 93, Fat 5.1 g., Protein 4 g., Carbohydrate 8 g.,

Fiber 1 g., Cholesterol 0.0 mg., Sodium 214 mg., Sugars 3 g.

Broccolini, Mushroom and Sesame Salad

1 bunch Broccolini (12 ounces), trimmed

2 cups sliced button mushrooms

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

1 scallion, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

In a saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the Broccolini until bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; cool slightly. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the salt and black pepper, and toss to coat. Season with salt and black pepper and serve. Serves 4.

Lemon Broccolini

1 pound broccolini

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Wash and trim the broccolini and steam for 5 minutes, until it is crisp yet tender. Drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the broccolini and toss to coat.

Variations include: 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper instead of black pepper or 3 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts chopped sprinkled on top

Serves 6, each serving contains; Calories 50, Fat 2 g., Sodium 120 mg., Carbohydrates 5.5 g.

Fiber 1 g. Protein 2.5 g.

Written By

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Posted on May 26, 2017
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