This brassica vegetable is a cross between broccoli and gai lan (Chinese broccoli).
It is similar to broccoli but has long thin stems and small florets. It is sweet and tender and the entire stalk is edible. In Europe broccolini is called aspiration and it is known as baby broccoli in the US.
Look for bright-green crisp stalks. Avoid limp stems and yellow buds. Small, tight green florets are best.
Broccolini lasts for up to 10 days in the fridge, preferably in a breathable bag. Rinse before use.
Broccolini is a good source of vitamin A which helps to fight infection, and vitamin C which is involved in growth and repair of body tissues. Broccolini is also a source of folate, needed for healthy blood cell production, and fibre for bowel health. Brassica vegetables are also rich in phytonutrients, thought to help protect against chronic diseases.
Broccolini can be used in place of broccoli. It is best blanched in hot water then cooled in iced water to bring out the colour while keeping its crispness. Overcooking broccolini will produce a bland, mushy vege with lost nutrients.
- Broccolini can be stir-fried, steamed, roasted and grilled. It is also fantastic added to pasta or risotto.
- Roast whole broccolini with a little olive oil and garlic.
- Steam for two minutes with chilli oil and chilli flakes. Serve as a side dish.
- Steam and wrap with prosciutto
- for a delicious appetiser.
- Toss on pizza with pumpkin, cashew nuts, capsicum and brie.
- Blanch quickly and add to any salad. Sprinkle with almonds.
Did you know? The name broccolini is trademarked by Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan.