Everything You Need to Know About Broccolini®
Broccolini® is a natural hybrid cross between broccoli and gai lan (Chinese kale). This vegetable, often mistakenly called baby broccoli, takes on the sweetness of broccoli yet has a subtle peppery bite in the stem. Since the stem of broccolini® is more tender than traditional broccoli, you can eat broccolini® whole. They add a visual pop to dishes because of their bright green colour and beautiful florets.
How to Select and Store Broccolini®
Look for crisp, bright green broccolini® with long, tender green stalks and closed buds. Check to ensure the base looks fresh and is not dried out. Avoid produce with any yellowed buds, or soft blemished and browned spots.
Store unwashed and untrimmed broccolini® in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 10 days.
How to Prepare Broccolini™
You can substitute broccolini® for any recipes that call for rapini or broccoli. A versatile vegetable, you can chop them and sauté or stir-fry in olive oil or blanch whole stalks to serve alongside your favourite protein for a more formal dinner. Broccolini® is delicious steamed, braised, roasted, stir-fried, sautéed or even microwaved.
To freeze broccolini®: first cut florets into bite-sized pieces and chopping the stalks. In a pot of boiling water, blanch for about 1 minute until the broccolini® turns bright green. Drain and plunge immediately into an ice bath to halt the cooking process. Drain and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and arrange in one layer. Flash freeze, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and use within 6-8 months.
For recipes that call for broccoli or rapini, try substituting broccolini®. It is a sweet, tender veggie with a bit of a peppery bite from the stalk.
- Avoid adding acids like vinegar or lemon during the cooking process, as it will turn the broccolini® a grayish-green colour. Instead, add just before serving for best results.
- Since broccolini® is more slender than broccoli, it cooks a bit faster, so ensure that you adjust cooking times, for best results.
Broccolini® Goes Well With
Herbs, Spices & Dressings: garlic, dill, marjoram, red pepper flakes, sesame/tahini, balsamic vinegar, olive oil
Produce: orange, lemon, sweet peppers, olives, mushrooms, carrots, kale, cauliflower, shallots, onion, tomato, asparagus, scallions, and potatoes
Dairy: mild cheeses, as well as ricotta, goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, feta, and butter
Savoury: almonds, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, seafood, bacon, sausage barley, rice, pasta, and soba noodles
Broccolini® Serving Ideas
Try broccolini® in your favourite Asian-inspired dishes, like this ramen or broccolini® and mushroom pad see ew. The sweetness of broccolini® marries perfectly with traditional Thai sweet and savoury sauces that make this dish extra delicious.
There’s also this charred broccolini salad recipe where broccolini® shines while being adorned with black-eyed peas and crumbles of feta cheese.
Make some Italian comfort food with broccolini®, like this broccolini™ chicken sausage polenta.
Prosciutto-wrapped broccolini® is a healthy potluck or picnic contribution, and makes a tasty game day snack
According to the Canadian Nutrient File, the nutritional value per 1 stalk (151 g) of raw broccoli using the daily recommended intake from Health Canada is: 225% of Vitamin C, 192% of Vitamin K, 14% of Vitamin A, 43% of folate, 14% of potassium, 13% of magnesium, 12% of pantothenic acid, 11% of riboflavin, 8% of iron and 6% of calcium. It is also high in lutein, an antioxidant that is reported to be beneficial for maintaining good eyesight.