I really want to thank all of you for the heart-warming, personal stories you shared about your proudest moment in the past year. I knew a question like that might provoke some really insightful answers, but you guys just blew me away by how honest you were. And I love honesty.
Speaking about being honest, I have to come clean and say that I used to have the unhealthiest diet as a child. Fish fingers, chicken nuggets, fries out of a bag, you named it, I had it. I was a weekly regular at McDonald’s in the space between catechism classes and evening Masses, because the chain had (conveniently) opened a spanking new outlet across the street from our church. Coincidence or God’s plan?
I balanced this wonderfully nutritious diet with my utter distaste for vegetables and the fact that the only part of the chicken I’d eat were the wings and the skin. Yes, that gelatinous, slivery skin off the breast of a perfectly steamed chicken, was my indulgence. It was Chicken Concentrate in a bite, full of flavor and easy to munch on, I was addicted to the stuff.
But this post isn’t about my unhealthy childhood obsession with chicken skin (which might cause a few of you to squirm in disgust by now), it’s about this gorgeous green vegetable called Broccolini, a product of Corporate Agriculture that’s actually healthy and delicious!
After a casual purchase one of our trips to the Farmers’ Market, we now stock up on it every week. Fresh, sweet and crunchy, the slender stalks don’t need much to be transformed into a tasty side dish – olive oil, garlic and some salt is all you need. We have this with anything and everything – grilled chicken, pork chops, quiche…..and even on it’s own. I have had a few broccolini-only lunches myself, because it’s so simple and delicious. And I also happen to be a big fan of garlic, so those caramelized chunks hiding in a moss of green florets are like little rewards for finally eating my greens.
Were you vegetable-averse as a child? What changed your mind?
Easy Broccolini Recipe with Caramelized Garlic
Serves 2 or one really hungry broccolini fan
This method is an adaptation of the Chinese stir-fry, where greens are cooked quickly, over high heat which intensifies flavor and maintains their crunch and color. The garlic is slowly caramelized in oil, giving it a golden brown surface while remaining pillowy soft, its intense flavors mellowed by an extended period in hot oil.
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
¼ to ½ cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
Half a pound/ 228 grams of broccolini stalks, washed and drained
Pinch of salt
Heat a saucepan that’s at least 2 inches deep, add ¼ cup of the olive oil and the garlic, making sure that most of the cloves are submerged in the oil. Add more oil if needed. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cloves start to turn a light brown (about 8 minutes). Remove the garlic cloves with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Turn the heat back to high and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the broccolini to the pan in batches (be careful, it will splatter), and cover the pan for 30 seconds. Remove the lid, give the vegetables a quick stir, add more oil if needed to prevent them from sticking to the pan, cover and leave for another 30 seconds.
Remove the lid, stir again and season with salt, and cover the pot for one last time (another 30 seconds). Turn off the heat, sitr in the caramelized garlic cloves and serve piping hot with your main course.
Other broccolini recipes to try:
- Broccolini and Sun-dried Tomato Pie by FoodBlogga
- Broccolini with Garlic-Lemon Butter sauce by Ezra Pound Cake
- Quinoa & Gruyère with Sauteed Mushrooms and Broccolini by We [Heart] Food