Broccolini, also known as broccolette, actually is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli known as gai lan. While broccolini might resemble broccoli rabe, they are completely different in that broccolini, broccoli and Chinese broccoli are from the cabbage family with sweet overtones while broccoli rabe is from the turnip family with bitter overtones.
This vegetable has long and slender deep-green stalks with clusters of tender buds at the tips similar in appearance to compact broccoli florets.
The taste of broccolini buds and stalks is sweeter than broccoli and has overtones of mustard. When it's cooked, any heat goes away and is replaced by increased sweetness. The stalks are less fibrous than broccoli and never require peeling.
What to Look for When Buying Broccolini
Broccolini typically is sold in small bundles. Look for bright green crispy stalks and tightly closed buds. Refrigerate unwashed broccolini in perforated plastic bags in a crisper drawer for up to 10 days.
How to Prepare Broccolini
To prepare broccolini, cut off and discard any dry or discolored stems. Very thick stems should be cut in half lengthwise before cooking. Rinse under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
Broccolini is delicious eaten raw with creamy dips or blanched, stir-fried, steamed or sautéed. It works well in pasta dishes, omelets, salads, slaws, and soups.
A bunch of broccolini generally weighs approximately 7 to 8 ounces so plan on at least 4 ounces of raw broccolini per serving.
Nutritional Information for One Bunch of Broccolini
Broccolini is an excellent source of vitamins C and A and potassium. The stats rack up this way: Calories 63, sodium 63 mg, potassium 139 mg, total carbs 12 g, sugars 3 g.