Wednesday, January 21, 2009

mean greens: broccolini

broccolini, aka "baby broccoli", is yet another godless creation of the japanese; it has similar dimensions to broccoli rabe, and the crisp toothiness of asparagus. in all other respects it is very much like american broccoli, save for a slightly sweeter finish and a good deal more whimsy.

while steaming or blanching are both perfectly acceptable and healthy ways of preparing this mean green, roasting the broccolini in the oven will result in delicious, golden brown florets with a sweet, nutty aroma.

roasted brocholini

2 bunches fresh broccolini, trimmed
3 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly slice
1 TBS moroccan-style spice rub (OPTIONAL; recipe follows)*
olive oil, as needed
salt and pepper, to taste
freshly squeezed lemon, to taste

-- preheat oven to 425.

1. rinse the broccolini under cold, running water; pat dry. trim off the tough ends.

2. arrange broccolini on a half sheet tray lined with parchment or tin foil. scatter sliced shallots and garlic over greens, drizzle liberally with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and any additional spices. roast 15-20 minutes until the tops start to brown and the stems are knife-tender.

-- DON'T OVERCROWD; the broccolini will steam rather than roast, preventing caramelization and leave you with a soggy batch of greens.

-- transfer to a serving plate and top with the crispy garlic and caramelized shallots. a shot of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of extra virgin and you are good to go.

cheap, fast and delicious -- the perfect side dish. i cooked up a batch last week to accompany some curried peas & lentils, baba ganoush and warm pita.

* moroccan-style spice rub

2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cayenne
pinch of ground cloves

1. combine all ingredients and store in an air-tight container. toss ~1 TBS of spice mix with olive oil and your veggie of choice.


© 2009 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

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