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Old 03-14-2009, 01:05 PM   #1
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Broccolini!

My wife and I had some Broccolini for dinner last night, an accompaniment to peppered salmon. It was very fresh and perhaps the first of the season as it was grown in the U.S, not Mexico or Peru, and it was a lot better looking than the thinner-than-a-pencil asparagus I was considering.

I simply steamed the Broccolini and served it with butter and salt. At first I thought I had undercooked it as it was quite crisp, but it tasted great -- sweet enough to eat raw.

If you've never had it, Broccolini, which is sometimes sold as "Asparation," is a wonderful veggie to serve as a side dish, and it's a favorite in our house, especially when the asparagus isn't so great and we've gotten tired of broccoli and cauliflower.

Although many people assume it's related to asparagus because of its long, thin stalks, it's actually a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale.

Here's a photo (from WikiMedia Commons, which is freely licensed media repository -- i.e., no copyright):


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Old 03-14-2009, 01:23 PM   #2
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I think I see some yellow flowers in that pic. Best to find broccolini that hasn't flowered.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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Oh goodness - where have you been?? I've been buying, cooking, & loving Broccolini for YEARS (as in over 15 years)!! Definitely not a new vegetable on the scene.

One thing that has changed is that a couple of seed companies have begun carrying seeds for a variety of it, but of course can't call it "Broccolini" as that's patented. While I don't have the catalogs at hand at the moment, I'm thinking of giving it a try for a fall crop. Don't want to risk a spring crop here, as our "springs", such as they are, can turn hot in a nanosecond, thus causing many cool-weather crops to bolt.

Anyway, I use Broccolini frequently in stirfries; as a veggie bed for an Eggs Benedict variation; served with sauteed garlic, breadcrumbs, & parmesan cheese for an Italian side; sauteed with butter & a little fresh tarragon for a slightly "French" side to nice grilled fresh fish. Geez - you name it, I've probably tried it.

A very versatile vegetable that gardening folks should search out & start growing on their own, because the patent thing still keeps it relatively expensive from market.

Oh & yes - SuzieQ3 is correct that broccoli family plants (broccoli, sprouting broccoli, Broccolini) shouldn't be flowering, which means it's past its prime. And with Broccolini as expensive as it is, it pays to buy it at its best.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:35 PM   #4
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I love to use broccolini in my veggie trays (I very lightly blanch and ice shock it) because it makes a nicer presentation than broccoli and is different. I also use it a lot as a veg with baby carrots and red pepper strips - good colour and excellent flavours.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Oh goodness - where have you been?? I've been buying, cooking, & loving Broccolini for YEARS (as in over 15 years)!! Definitely not a new vegetable on the scene.

One thing that has changed is that a couple of seed companies have begun carrying seeds for a variety of it, but of course can't call it "Broccolini" as that's patented. While I don't have the catalogs at hand at the moment, I'm thinking of giving it a try for a fall crop. Don't want to risk a spring crop here, as our "springs", such as they are, can turn hot in a nanosecond, thus causing many cool-weather crops to bolt.

Anyway, I use Broccolini frequently in stirfries; as a veggie bed for an Eggs Benedict variation; served with sauteed garlic, breadcrumbs, & parmesan cheese for an Italian side; sauteed with butter & a little fresh tarragon for a slightly "French" side to nice grilled fresh fish. Geez - you name it, I've probably tried it.

A very versatile vegetable that gardening folks should search out & start growing on their own, because the patent thing still keeps it relatively expensive from market.

Oh & yes - SuzieQ3 is correct that broccoli family plants (broccoli, sprouting broccoli, Broccolini) shouldn't be flowering, which means it's past its prime. And with Broccolini as expensive as it is, it pays to buy it at its best.
As I said, it's a favorite in our house, and it has been for many, many years. I started this link, however, because a lot of people are unfamiliar with it. In the store it's always on an upper shelf, in small quantities, away from the more common veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, green beans, and the like. More people should try it -- it's not expensive, it's healthful and tastes good, and it's a nice change from the old standbys.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:55 PM   #6
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Well, obviously "expensive" is a very personal point. Around here, Broccolini goes for approximately $2.99 per very small bunch. And when I say "small bunch", I mean enough to feed just two people. When I compare that to the cost of regular broccoli & other common vegetables, I consider that expensive.
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Well, obviously "expensive" is a very personal point. Around here, Broccolini goes for approximately $2.99 per very small bunch. And when I say "small bunch", I mean enough to feed just two people. When I compare that to the cost of regular broccoli & other common vegetables, I consider that expensive.
Broccoli is currently about $2.49 a pound here. That's certainly a bit cheaper than the Broccolini, but neither is going to make or break most budgets at about $1 to $1.50 per serving. That's about the same cost as asparagus.
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:26 PM   #8
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I've done the broccolini thing a few times....I don't remember the cost, only that it was good, refreshing, and different...
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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Broccoli is currently about $2.49 a pound here. That's certainly a bit cheaper than the Broccolini, but neither is going to make or break most budgets at about $1 to $1.50 per serving. That's about the same cost as asparagus.
Wow - pretty darn pricy broccoli & asparagus for you in the U.S. "vegetable-growing capital"! Here CA broccoli runs about $.99 to $1.50 per pound year round; asparagus 2.99/pound winter-$1.89/spring(like now).
No wonder you think Broccolini is a bargain.

But again - in order to compare "apples to apples", the Broccolini here is $2.99 per little bunch, NOT per pound. There's a HUGE difference between a little 1/4-1/3-pound bunch of Broccolini at $2.99 EACH & regular broccoli at $2.49 per pound. Sorry, but to me that's EXPENSIVE.
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:50 PM   #10
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I think cost is relative to many things, but the main point of the thread is that broccolini is a great vegetable when you are looking for a nice change!
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