Since we seemed to have missed a bonus recipe in February, March has two optional recipes for Barefoot Bloggers. The first one, Sauteed Broccolini, selected by Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen, I actually made twice. I didn't make it twice due to a great love of broccoli-like vegetables, (to be honest, broccoli is not a good friend of mine, despite it's health value), but because, broccolini is not easy to find here. My first attempt led me to broccoli rabe, so I tried that with my Chicken Picatta last week (picture below) and it was a bit too bitter for my taste.
This week I happened to find some baby broccoli (also marked "asparation") at Whole Foods. Surfing the net, I found conflicting information on whether broccolini and baby broccoli are the same thing. So, for the ruling, I am going with my favorite resource, The New Food Lover's Companion which says that broccolini is "the trademarked name for a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale. This bright green vegetable has long slender stalks topped with a bouquet of tiny buds reminiscent of a miniature broccoli head. The flavor is sweet with a subtle, peppery edge; the texture is slightly crunchy. Also called baby broccoli."
With my broccolini, baby broccoli, asparation, or whatever you like to call it in hand, I tried the recipe again and had much better results. It was much less bitter and for me it had a better flavor than the broccoli rabe. The only changes I made, (the same changes I made for the rabe last week), were subbing out the butter for just a tablespoon of olive oil and adding a bit more lemon juice and black pepper. With the garlic and lemon, I actually kind of liked the broccolini, (Although I doubt I will search for it and pay Whole Foods prices for it again).
This recipe is from the Food Network website here:
Barefoot, Contessa, Ina Garten
(Makes 6 servings)
1 bunch broccolini
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Blanch the broccolini in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water. Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the lemon zest and garlic and stir. Drain the broccolini and add it to the garlic mixture and heat for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, and toss well before serving.
Thanks Mary for a great recipe pick that got me to try cooking a couple of vegetables that I would not have tried on my own. You can see who else made this optional bonus recipe and what they thought of it by visiting the Barefoot Blogger's "Whose Turn Is It?" page, here.
Our second recipe for this month, Brownie Pudding is in the following post.