"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Vegetables
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-14-2009, 12:05 PM   #1
Head Chef
 
Scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,041
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):


Scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 12:23 PM   #2
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 605
I think I see some yellow flowers in that pic. Best to find broccolini that hasn't flowered.
suzyQ3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 12:30 PM   #3
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,803
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.
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 12:35 PM   #4
Certified Cake Maniac
 
LPBeier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Great "Wet" North
Posts: 20,311
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.
__________________
Living gluten/dairy/sugar/fat/caffeine-free and loving it!
LPBeier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 01:29 PM   #5
Head Chef
 
Scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,041
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.
Scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 01:55 PM   #6
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,803
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.
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 02:33 PM   #7
Head Chef
 
Scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,041
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.
Scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 03:26 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Small Town Mississippi
Posts: 17,515
I've done the broccolini thing a few times....I don't remember the cost, only that it was good, refreshing, and different...
__________________
There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 03:34 PM   #9
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotch View Post
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.
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 03:50 PM   #10
Certified Cake Maniac
 
LPBeier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Great "Wet" North
Posts: 20,311
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!
__________________
Living gluten/dairy/sugar/fat/caffeine-free and loving it!
LPBeier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2009, 04:05 PM   #11
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,803
Oh, don't get me wrong - I agree, & I cook with it a lot. But price-wise, at least around here, I would never classify it as an inexpensive veggie choice, especially in today's economy. Plus, you can't equate "per bunch" prices with "per pound" prices.

I love to cook with white asparagus too, but it runs around the same price as Broccolini here if one were putting it on a "per pound" basis, so thus gets relegated to the "expensive" veggie catagory on my shopping list as well.
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 01:19 PM   #12
Head Chef
 
Scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,041
I just looked at the receipt from my Von's shopping last Friday. The Broccolini was on sale for $1.99 a bunch for "club" members (frequent shoppers). For that we had two very large servings, about 8 or 9 stalks each (we had only salmon and a small serving of bread with it). That's a buck a serving.

I also bought a small head of cauliflower on Friday, which was 1.99˘ per pound (not on sale). It weighed 2.06 pounds, so the total cost was $4.10. I find that ˝ of a head of cauliflower is enough for me and my wife for one meal, so a head gives me 4 servings. Gee! That's a buck a serving, too!

In any case, fresh veggies are relatively cheap compared to other things most of us eat. Even the relatively expensive varieties are generally a good deal, particularly considering the nutritional value they provide. It's a bonus that things like Broccolini also taste good.
Scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 01:38 PM   #13
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,803
I agree that the price of cauliflower has gotten outrageous. Back in NY we used to hit all the east-end Long Island farm stands in the fall & would get fresh-from-the-field heads of cauliflower for $.25 to $.75 per HEAD, depending on size.

Here in VA, they also sell cauliflower by the head instead of by the pound, but the price can run as high as $3.99 each, which is ridiculous. I try to hold out until it's on sale, which usually drops the price down to $2.00/$2.50 a head, or I'll buy a purple or orange ("Cheddar") variety to at least feel like I'm getting more bang for my buck - lol!

And while I've grown my own broccoli before (delicious!), cauliflower just doesn't do well in VA. Both our spring & fall seasons are just too warm & too short, & the humidity is a killer.
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 01:42 PM   #14
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Beautiful Brooklyn NY
Posts: 325
Broccolini is not readilly available in my neighborhood in Brooklyn.

I'm sure I could find it in Manhattan - had it once or twice and liked it.
Agree that it is pricey.

I cook a lot of gai-lan - 'Chinese' Broccoli - the stalks are
bittersweet (which I like) - I blanch it and also cook in Microwave.
Serve with Oyster Sauce - Yum !
__________________
anything that does not kill me makes me stronger
mike in brooklyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 02:31 PM   #15
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,803
I like Gai Lan too! Except for ethnic markets, which are a bit farther away than I normally travel for weekly marketing, a somewhat local Harris Teeter supermarket carries it regularly & I really enjoy adding it to Asian stirfries or tossing it with sliced hot sausages, etc., etc. It's sort of like a milder version of Broccoli Raab (aka rapini), another veggie favorite of mine. I'm thinking of trying to grow Gai-Lan in the garden if my sowings of Broccoli Raab turn out well.
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 04:08 PM   #16
Head Chef
 
Scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,041
I like rapini (broccoli rabe), too. Not everyone's cup of tea as it can be slightly bitter, but it's great sauteed in olive oil with a lot of garlic, some crushed red pepper, and lemon.
Scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 04:42 PM   #17
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,803
Oh I adore Broccoli Raab & use it often. In fact, I bought seeds of several different European varieties from "Seeds of Italy" to try in the garden this year. Most folks don't realize that there are different varieties of it (same with Arugula) outside of what they can buy at their supermarket. And relatively easy to grow.

While I find it a bit intense as a vegetable on its own, I do love it sauteed with shrimp or sliced sausage, extra virgin olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, chopped garlic, etc., & served over pasta. And in fact, we enjoyed a bunch just this past week in this fashion:

Chicken, Feta, & Broccoli Raab on Toast
(adapted from "Eating Well" magazine)
Serves 2

4 slices of frozen "Texas toast", toasted
Approx. 12 cloves roughly chopped garlic
extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound chicken tenders, cut crosswise into 1" pieces
1 bunch broccoli rabe, heavy stems removed & discarded, cut into 1-inch pieces
Approx. 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Heat a couple of dollops of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through & no longer pink in the middle. Remove to a bowl & set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan, add broccoli rabe, & cook, stirring often, until bright green and just wilted. Add chopped garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not brown, about a minute or so. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, salt, peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are beginning to break down, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken and any juices in the bowl back to the pan, add feta cheese and stir to combine. Cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Place 2 slices of toast on each plate, spoon chicken mixture atop toast, & serve.
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 05:05 PM   #18
Head Chef
 
Scotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,041
Sounds good to me!

I envy your garden.
Scotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2009, 07:38 PM   #19
Assistant Cook
 
Amy Hoffman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Arvada, CO
Posts: 19
I have never heard of broccolini. I wonder if it is available here. Who am I kidding. I don't do the shopping and my husband is a staple purchaser - broccoli and cauliflower are a must. I will make sure that he looks for it this weekend. Thanks for the tip!
__________________
The almost useless Mom in the kitchen! If I can get out of it, I will!!!
Amy Hoffman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2009, 09:18 AM   #20
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,803
Broccolini is most commonly sold in small rubber-banded bunches in the produce section with other "exotic" veggies (although recently I bought some packaged in a plastic clamshell container at a Whole Foods market). Markets make a point of not displaying it anywhere near regular broccoli because they don't want folks comparing regular broccoli at $1.00 a pound versus Broccolini at $2.99 for a 6-ounce bunch - lol!!

Just as with regular broccoli, make sure to buy bunches with the florets tightly closed - not starting to flower. Broccolini is pricey enough where markets seem to be reluctant to pull it once it's past its prime.
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
broccolini

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.