My first experience with broccolini (which is just a fancy name for what's generically called baby broccoli) was a bit dubious. I was at a conference back when I worked in the "real world" and, when lunch was served no one bothered to ask whether there were vegetarians or anyone with diet restrictions. Everyone just got the same thing: fried chicken with mashed potatoes and broccolini. While I mentally scrunched up my nose at the hunk-o-chicken-n-bones, at this point I thought it best to just eat what I could. The broccolini made that decision so worth while. Though I found myself wishing they'd given me an entire plate of it, sans chicken.
When broccolini showed up in a recent CSA box, I giggled a bit about that memory and set to work creating a sauce that would add a bit of protein without mucking up the broccolini with any other major ingredients. So, I used chickpea miso paste and balsamic vinegar as the sauce base. Suffering through that chicken experience so many years ago was so worth it to get to this delicious dish.
Miso Balsamic Broccolini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons diced scallions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup miso paste (I used chickpea miso)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 pound broccolini (baby broccoli)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic and saute for about a minute. Mix balsamic vinegar, miso paste and warm water in a small bowl. Add to pan. Add broccolini, toss in sauce and saute for for 3-5 minutes. Top with red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve over brown rice.
That sauce is fantastic. And so simple. The broccolini was really tasty, too, especially the skinny stalks. Some of the larger stalks were too fibrous. The kids loved the florets and the saucy brown rice, but didn't care much for the stalks.
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