Two broccoli recipes in a row? I know.
Maybe it’s the holiday cookie withdrawals, but I’ve been craving super fresh, vegetable-laden bowls of goodness like nobody’s business. Especially dark, leafy greens. Broccoli, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, you name it.
While I promise I won’t exclusively be giving you brassica recipes in the foreseeable future, I do want to highlight more veggie-centric, seasonal dishes around here.
I also want to simply post more recipes around here, which is something many of you have been asking for, including in the latest reader survey (loving reading the responses so far!). So going forward, expect to see me popping in with a few more quick and easy, short and sweet recipes like this one, in addition to longer, more photo-laden posts.
There were a few heads of broccolini left over from this pasta, on the verge of being abandoned in the crisper, and begging to be put to good use, so taking a nod from Chinese-style, stir-fried broccoli/kai-lan – a close relative of broccolini – I sautéed the tender broccolini stalks in a spicy mixture of sesame oil, garlic and fresh chili paste.
I generally prefer the slender stalks and sweeter flavor of broccolini to broccoli, and love that it only takes a few minutes to cook to al dente perfection. The freshness and slight bitterness of the greens stand up well to a bold and spicy sauce – like this sesame-chili sauce – and the finished sautéed broccolini makes for a quick and healthy side dish that pairs nicely alongside rice, fish, or another favorite protein source (I think crispy tofu would also be great).
- Trim any rough ends/bits off of the broccolini stalks. Cut thicker stalks (greater than 1/2-inch) in half lengthwise. Fill a large bowl with ice water, set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccolini, and cook for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil and 1 Tbsp of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, and cook until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the chili paste and sugar, and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
- Drain the broccolini, and gently pat (mostly) dry with a paper towel. Add the broccolini to the skillet, and drizzle with the remaining oil and vinegar. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, until tender but still bright green (think vibrant, al dente, not limp). Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Best enjoyed immediately!