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While it might look like it, Broccolini is not baby broccoli. This lanky vegetable is a hybrid; it’s a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. You get the florets found in broccoli and the longer stems and leaves found in Chinese broccoli. It’s a pretty logical mix of the two. Broccolini has small florets, long stalks, and a few small leaves — all of which are edible.
When it comes to flavour, Broccolini also lands somewhere in the middle. It's mellower and less bitter than standard broccoli, with a mild sweetness much more akin to Chinese broccoli. But our favourite part of Broccolini is its texture. The long stems have a pleasant crunch, and the ratio of stem to leaf to bud is pretty perfect, if you ask us. And while it can be eaten raw, Broccolini is best when cooked. It can be sautéed, steamed, roasted, and grilled.
Cooking with Broccolini is a dream. It requires a lot less prep than regular broccoli does—no stem-peeling necessary, all you have to do is cut off the last inch or so from the bunch and you're good to go. After that, you've got options. A quick toss in olive oil and a few pinches of salt is the simplest way to season them pre-roast or pre-sauté. Roasting Broccolini in an oven set around 210°c will give you very crispy florets and perfectly-cooked stalks, while sautéing over medium heat will make the broccolini tender throughout with just the right amount of snap in the stem. You can also grill broccolini in a grill basket to pick up a nice char or blanch the broccolini in boiling water for a few minutes for a fresh, snappy final product. The amazing thing about Broccolini is that the stems are thin and tender, so you don't have to worry about overcooking the delicate florets waiting for the bottom parts to cook.