What is Baby Broccoli (Broccolini)?
Contrary to popular belief, baby broccoli (also called broccolini) is not immature broccoli. Baby broccoli is a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale. It has a sweeter flavor than regular broccoli, perhaps closer to asparagus than broccoli. The entire vegetable is edible, to include the leaves, stalks, and any flowers so feel free to throw it all in the pot.
Braising is an excellent way to introduce flavor into vegetable dishes. Cooking over low heat in a flavorful broth leads to a tender, delicious vegetable. This recipe focuses on the freshness and flavor of the broccolini, so the cooking liquid consists only of chicken broth, salt and pepper. Drizzling a touch of lemon juice on the broccolini after cooking adds a extra freshness to the dish.
Braising the broccolini for about 10 minutes is enough time to tenderize it, but still keep that bit of crunch. However, if you are looking for a softer version, just up the cook time until you get to your desired tenderness.
- 1 bunch baby broccoli about 2 lbs.
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 lemon
Trim the broccolini, taking about 1 inch off the bottom of the stalks.
Cut into serving size pieces.
Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the broccolini, salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the broth, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until broccolini is fork tender and liquid has cooked off.
Squeeze some fresh lemon over the top and serve.
What are your thoughts on baby broccoli? Have you had it before and did you like it? Do you prefer crisp or soft vegetables?