What do you get when you cross broccoli with Kai-lan, or Chinese kale? It’s broccolini, and it is on the menu tonight at my place. I’ll prepare it as a side to spanking fresh diver sea scallops, which is another great reason to love winter in Maine.
Broccolini, a hybrid of the cabbage family, is also known as “tenderstem broccoli.” Both are trade names of the Mann Packing Company. Broccolini was brought to the States from Japan in 1993 and is grown year round in Arizona and California. It is high in vitamins A, C, calcium, iron, and folate, so why not enjoy it often?
I like to trim it just on the bottom and cook it simply by blanching quickly in well-salted water. I then drain it and toss with salt and pepper along with good olive oil and some lemon zest, much like Ina Garten’s recipe listed below.
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro
1 bunch broccolini
Salt and fresh pepper
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Blanch the trimmed broccolini in a pot of salted water for two minutes.
Drain and cool quickly in ice water. Drain again.
Melt the butter in a large skillet, adding salt and pepper, lemon zest and garlic. Stir and add the well drained vegetables, tossing for a couple of minutes until heated through but still bright.
Season with the lemon juice and more salt and pepper to taste, if needed. If you like heat, add a few red pepper flakes.
Broccolini is good as a compliment to most everything! Good winter food.
Laura Cabot is an MF&L columnist and blogger, a French trained chef with a long career as a chef/restaurant owner, and president of Laura Cabot Catering in Waldoboro.