Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Broccolini with Parmesan

Sometimes less is more.

This is a very simple dish but that's because broccolini doesn't need any gussying up to be delicious. However, the vegetable does go by many names including broccoli raab, rapini and broccoletto.

This was a cause for pause at the checkout time at Wallyworld (I know, I was surprised to see it there too and just couldn't resist bringing it home). The cashier said "This isn't parsley." I nodded and said, "I call it broccoli raab, but I think the sign said broccolini." She checked her illustrated produce guide to no avail and finally, with the line behind me growing restless, she asked if she could look inside of the clear plastic produce bag to see the label on my not-parsley. It said rapini.

Ah well, all that confusion for a vegetable that here, is prepared very simply. Read more about broccolini, its heritage and health benefits here and here.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse and trim the tough ends off of the broccolini.

Heat a large pot of salted water until boiling. Blanche the broccolini by submerging it into the salty boiling water until it turns a beautiful emerald green. Immediately remove broccolini from the water and dunk it into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

When cooled (just a few minutes) drain thoroughly, toss with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Top with grated cheese and bake in a 400 degree oven until the cheese is melted and starts to brown.

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