With summer so close (yet so far away, it was only 40 degrees this morning), I get excited about all the fresh summer produce and all the different ways to prepare it. I always love a quick veggie side dish, especially if it can be prepared on the grill. I love grilling fresh vegetables, if gives them beautiful color and great flavor, plus cleanup if a breeze.
Lately I have seen broccolini on menu’s all over, it’s becoming the new substitute for broccoli and broccoli rabe. It’s cheap and cooks up even a little quicker than traditional broccoli. The best part, when you grab a pack at the grocery store it’s practically ready to cook, just rinse it off, no chopping or trimming needed.
When I used to work in the restaurant we served charred broccolini with a reduced ponzu glaze, it was a very popular dish. Broccolini holds up well to sauces and glazes as well as any toppings you adding on top.
Try these other popular side dishes:
If you have access to a grill, I highly recommend grilling these, if not you can roast these in the oven instead. You can boil these as well and saute them with the sauce and toppings. If you choose to boil them instead of grilling or roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, drop in the cleaned stalks of broccolini and boil for 3-4 minutes until bright green in color and slightly tender, but still crunchy.
Remove the broccolini from the boiling water and transfer to a bowl of ice water, this stops the cooking process allowing the broccolini to stay green and perfectly cooked. Remove the broccolini from the ice bath and toss in olive oil, transfer to a serving platter. If you grilled or roasted the broccolini, I recommend cooking the bacon the same way, either on the grill or in the oven on the same pan as the broccoli. Once the bacon is done cooking, give it a rough chop.
Heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, while the butter is melting add in the paprika, cayenne pepper, and dark chili powder. Adding spices to hot butter or oil allows their flavors to come out more. Add in the minced shallot and saute until fragrant, once the shallot is translucent, add in the rough chopped walnuts. Remove from the heat and allow the walnuts to cook slightly in the butter sauce.
Sprinkle the chopped bacon and walnuts over the broccolini, and drizzle the remaining butter sauce over the top, serve warm and enjoy!
Roasted Broccolini with Bacon and Spiced Walnuts
- 1 lb Broccolini, rinsed
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Dark chili powder
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 Small Shallot, finely minced
- ¼ cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 lb Bacon, fried and roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425, grease a large baking sheet, set aside. Rinse the broccolini, transfer to a mixing bowl toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until tender.
- In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium high heat, add in the minced shallot and saute until fragrant. Add in the paprika, cayenne pepper, and chili powder, stir to combine. Add in the raw walnuts and saute 56 minutes until warmed and fragrant.
- Fry the bacon and give it a rough chop. Transfer the roasted broccolini to a serving platter. Top with the spiced walnuts, chopped bacon, and drizzle the remaining butter sauce over the top. Serve and enjoy!