This way of making broccoli/broccolini/broccolette is reeeeeally easy, reeeeeeally healthy, and even your little ones will like it. Trust me—you’ll never make steamed broccoli again!
My friend, Sloane, just invited me to do a recipe swap—which I was reluctant to do, because the last time I did it almost all the people I invited declined, and it seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. But since Sloane is a fabulous cook, I thought I’d give it a go. (Sorry in advance to the 20 friends who will soon be getting the invite from me!)
And then to choose a recipe… where to even begin?!
The instructions were for something simple–preferably that you make from memory.
AHA! My Sauteed Broccolini!
It MUST be good, because my other friend, Nicole, called me for the recipe after I made it for her and her two little darlings. (When you get a two, three, and four year old to eat your veggie dish, it’s a happy day!)
Here are the little princesses making Valentine’s Cookies (That’s mine on the left)
And then I thought… if I’m typing this up to send out in a recipe swap, shouldn’t I be sharing it with the rest of you…?
So here it is!
What is Broccolini?
Similar to broccoli, but with a milder, sweeter taste and smaller florets. Fun for kids to grab onto the long, thin stalks—especially if they have those pretty little yellow flowers, which BTW are edible.
Though sometimes labeled “Baby Broccoli” it is not, in fact, “young broccoli”, but rather a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan (Chinese Kale), and is popular in Japan.
I usually buy it at Trader Joe’s (fav TJ’s veg!)—but these days you’ll find cute little bunches of it in the produce section of most US markets.
Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods and Points Plus) >>
At Vons (Safeway) look for Broccolette
I couldn’t live without my Masterclad 12-inch nonstick pan (I have two!)—look out for them at Costco trade shows, where they are heavily discounted. The one with the lid is perfect for sautéing and then steaming veggies.
Click here for my Costco Shopping List >>
How to Smash Garlic
Smashing garlic makes it easier to peel and releases its garlicky oils, which will flavor your olive oil just enough, and the larger pieces of garlic won’t burn as easily as little ones.
Place the back of your chefs knife down on the clove and carefully give it a whack or two with your fist. Then slice off the end and peel.
Have you tried Broccolini?
I was surprised at how many people didn’t know what it was.
For my friends around the world—what’s it called in your country?
(If you don’t get it, you could do this with good ol’ Broccoli!)
Simple Sauteed Broccolini (Baby Broccoli)
- One package or bunch Broccolini I usually buy it from Trader Joe’s
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic smashed
- ¼ cup water have this standing by
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat a 12-inch non-stick sauté pan over medium heat for a minute or so. Add olive oil and swirl to coat.
- When hot (after about a minute) add smashed garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring and shaking pan often, about 30 – 60 seconds. (Be careful not to burn it!) Remove garlic with tongs and discard.
- Immediately add broccoli, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and sauté for 3 - 5 minutes , turning often with your tongs so they don’t burn. This will develop a nice flavor and coat them with the garlicky oil.
- Add 3 tablespoons water to the pan, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 3 – 5 minutes until water has evaporated and they are tender; depending on how crispy or soft you like them, and how thick or thin the stalks are. (Add more water if necessary.)