Braising Broccolini – a Simple Technique, a Unique Sidedish

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Braising Broccolini – don’t you just love how that sounds? I do, but what’s even better, is how it tastes.

Bunch of broccolini fresh from the store

A few days ago I was putting together another last minute dinner, whizzing through the grocery store at frenetic pace trying to figure out what to buy that was quick to prepare but not a repeat of something we already ate that week. I was about to buy the broccoli florets on sale (really creative, huh?) when out of the corner of my eye I saw the broccolini or as some people call it, baby broccoli. I’ve prepared broccolini many times before but seem to always forget about it for long interludes in between, perhaps because it takes up so little visual space in the produce aisle and sometimes isn’t even available. But it is worth looking for. Trader Joe’s usually has it in their produce section.

Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and gai-lan. Gai-lan is a chinese vegetable that is a wonderful combination of slightly bitter and sweet flavors. When we go out for Chinese brunch (dim sum), it’s one of my favorite things to order, flavored with some oyster sauce. Broccolini has the essence of gai-lan but has the florets at the top, instead of the leaves of gai-lan, making it more familiar looking and possibly more approachable for picky kid or adult eaters.

Here’s how I prepared it the other night. You can add all kinds of fun things to it depending on what you are serving it with (soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon zest, orange zest, oyster sauce, etc), but we love the flavor so much, that I prepare it extremely simply by braising it in an 8-inch saute pan with just water and butter. Ready usually in under 5 minutes.

Braised Broccolini:

One bunch broccolini (will serve about 4 people)

1 – 2 tblsps butter

1/3 – 1/2 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

Wash the broccolini and just trim the bottom of the stalk a smidgen – no need to do anything else to it. Place it in the saute pan with the water and dot the top with the butter.

Broccolini in 8-inch pan ready to be braised

Cover the pan and put the stove on about medium (if your stove is not very hot, try medium high, at least until you hear it boiling). It will come to a boil quickly, turn it down to medium low (should still hear it making some noise in the pan as it cooks) and leave it covered. Check it after two minutes. If a fork can pierce the stalk, it’s ready. If it is no longer bright green, it has already cooked for too long.

The butter will melt into the broccolini and what’s left of the water and create a bit of a sauce. Take the broccolini out of the pan once it is ready so it will stop cooking and place it on your serving platter of choice. You can add some salt and pepper if you like. We find it so flavorful as is that we didn’t even add S&P the other night.

The cooked broccolini ready to be devoured

Hope you agree that it is as OMG! Yummy as my family does. If you decide to try it, please let me know what you think!

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15 Responses to Braising Broccolini – a Simple Technique, a Unique Sidedish

  1. Diane October 29, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    When you turn the heat down, do you turn it off or turn it down to simmer? Sounds great!

    • omgyummy October 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

      Good catch and good question Diane. I just edited the post to be more specific. Turn it down to medium low – you still want it to be making some noise in the pan but you don’t want it to cook too quickly.

  2. sandy corman October 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    what did you make with the broccolini?

  3. Christine Leiser October 29, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    Yum! Delicious. I never buy broccolini because my family eats so much of it that it’s too expensive. I do love it though and this looks delicious. Maybe I’ll treat myself.

  4. Eve October 29, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    That sounds wonderful… I’ll have to try it when I get back home to my own kitchen! :D

  5. kjanzen October 30, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Oooh yummy! I have never seen this before but probably because I didn’t have my eyes open for it. I’ll look for it next time!

  6. Georgia B. November 1, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    How fabulously simple. I have yet to try Broccolini, but now I will. I’ve looked at it from afar in the grocery store but always passed it by for something more familiar.
    Thank you.
    gb

    • omgyummy November 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

      Oh go for it Georgia B! It’s so easy to prepare and is a real flavor treat. Let me know if you try it and if you like it (that kind of sounded like a Life Cereal commercial, didn’t it?) Hope all is well in New York.

  7. Selena Cate November 1, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    I’m a huge fan of broccoli but have never purchased broccolini ever. I need to after reading this recipe. It looks so delicious.

    • omgyummy November 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

      Hi Selena! Great to hear from you. Let me know if you like it after you try it. If you love broccoli, it’s pretty hard not to love broccolini. I love your new blog design, by the way. Hope all is going great since last we saw each other at BlogHerFood.

  8. Irene Saiger November 2, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Great dish! I like to throw some red pepper flakes and thinly sliced garlic into hot oil and add the Broccolini.

    • omgyummy November 4, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

      Thanks for the idea – sounds delicious. We all love spicy in this house and that would be great with an Asian-themed main dish. Loved your latest post about egg creams!

  9. Minnesota Mamaleh November 4, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    yum, yum and more yum! seriously divine! (um, can you tell how much i heart broccoli? weird, but true!) thanks for the delish recipe! :)

    • omgyummy November 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

      I love broccoli too but broccolini, for me, is like broccoli but stepped up a notch. So flavorful on its own but can withstand some pretty great additions as well – see the comment below – Irene uses red pepper flakes and garlic with it. That sounds pretty yum as well.

  10. Anastasia November 7, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    I have never liked broccolini. But this sounds like a good recipe to try anyway. Thanks for the background info. I love food trivia like that.

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