Have you ever had broccolini? I'll admit- the taller, thinner cousin of broccoli and I have had a questionable past. I absolutely love it when cooked right, but I had some challenges with other ways I had tried cooking these little cruciferous cuties in the past. Thankfully, I lucked out and came up with a winning strategy for dealing with the thicker stalks and sometimes bitter heads to get a delicious, soft, and incredibly rich side dish everytime. This Meyer Lemon Broccolini is a quick, healthy and delicious way to prepare broccolini!
Off the bat, I'll say this dish isn't overwhelmingly lemon-y. Or sweet. Sauteeing the meyer lemons in with the broccolini gives just a hint of flavor. And because we're putting them in the same pan, they crisp and caramelize and give a bright, faintly tart hint to these greens that really do taste best paired with something acidic.
And don't be afraid of the cast iron. Seriously people... once you go cast iron, you never go back! Since broccolini stalks are a bit more wooden- like a big asparagus stalk- you need high heat to break it down. Of course, trimming off a bit of the stems is crucial too- but the stems are incredibly delicious when soft enough to cut with a fork. They have an earthy, buttery taste that is so much more complex than that of the squatty plain old broccoli- it really is a treat to find well prepared broccolini. And this recipe is so easy, you can make it at home as often as you want!
I am calling for dry vermouth in this recipe. I keep a big bottle of dry vermouth on hand because I love to cook vegetables in it. If you are paleo, or have dietary restrictions, you can use stock. If you'd like the dry, wine-like taste without actually adding wine, you could add a ginger ale. Of course, I think adding vermouth gives it the best taste (you will be completely cooking off the wine) and wrote this recipe with it in mind- so variations may affect the outcome.
- 1 small package, about 12-15 individual spears- I've yet to find a store in my area that sells these in anything but small packages that are neatly divvied up
- 2 tbsp ghee, butter, olive oil or other fat
- 1 meyer lemon, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth, sub stock or ginger ale if you don't cook with wine
- salt, pepper to taste
- Heat your cast iron on medium heat until warm.
- Add oil/butter and heat until melted or shimmery, just a few seconds.
- Toss broccolini in pan on medium high heat until it starts to soften and brown- about 5 minutes.
- Salt and pepper liberally, add lemon slices- continue sauteeing while occasionally tossing to prevent from burning another 5 minutes.
- Carefully add vermouth (there will be a large WOOSH of steam when adding liquid to the pan- be safe!) and heat, occasionally tossing vegetables to ensure they dont burn.
- When vermouth has cooked off, remove from stove and plate.
- Serve hot and enjoy.