Looking for a simple keto and vegan meal without the fuss? I may have the answer for you. Presenting the grilled broccolini dish with lemon and aleppo chilli. This dish will only take you 20 minutes to prepare and make.
But before we get down to the details, a little trivia for you. Did you the the broccolini was created in 1993 as a hybrid between the broccoli and chinese kale? Who would have thought the offspring would be so delicious. You get the benefits of both worlds: the florets found in broccoli and the longer, tender stems and leaves found in the Chinese kale. As such, it is a dream to cook with. You don’t have to worry about burning the delicate florets while waiting for the stems to cook. Not to mention, broccolini requires much less prep work than regular broccoli – no stem-peeling is necessary, just chop off the bottom 1/4 inch and you are good to go. More information about the differences between the broccoli, broccolini, and the rabe can be found here.
As for flavour, broccolini lands somewhere in the middle between the broccoli and Chinese kale. It has a mellower note and is less bitter than broccoli, while imparting a mild sweetness much more akin to the Chinese kale. The texture is second to none. The long stems have a pleasant crunch while the ratio of stem to leaf to bud is pretty perfect if you ask me.
So how to cook broccolini? While simply sprinkling some salt and olive oil and roasting these babies is the easiest way to cook these beauties, my favourite way to prepare broccolini is to char it on a grill pan so that it yields those irresistible char marks. To enhance the flavour profile, in addition to the olive oil and salt mix, I like to add some slices of garlic, a good squeeze of lemon juice and finish it off with a chilli kick.
As for the lemon, I would personally have preferred to use the Meyer lemon for salads (they are sweeter). However, as they are seasonal, it wasn’t an option here. For those curious to find out the difference between the regular lemon vs the Meyer, please read this.
Broccolini with Lemon and Aleppo Chilli
PREP TIME: 5 min | COOK TIME: 10 min | TOTAL TIME: 15 min | YIELDS: 2 servings
- 1/2 pound of broccolini
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 fresh lemon, sliced and/or wedged
- teaspoon of aleppo chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or sliced
- tablespoon of pine nuts, roasted
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt flakes
- Pinch of black pepper, to taste
- Parboil broccolini in a pot of boiling water (along with some salt and oil) for 2 minutes and then quickly submerge into a bucket of ice water (to keep it green and prevent it from cooking).
- Pat dry (or use salad spinner). Heat a grill pan on high heat and brush some oil.
- Once grill pan is smoking, add the lemon slices. Wait 2 minutes and flip other side to repeat. You want those lovely char marks. Remove on a separate plate once done.
- In same grill pan, brush some olive oil and layer the broccolini in one layer. Sprinkle the garlic on top along with some sea salt, pepper, chilli flakes and lemon juice. Wait 2-3 minutes and rotate so the other side is charred. Once cooked, serve it on a plate along with the lemon as garnish. Sprinkle more chilli flakes and the roasted pine nuts on top before serving.