I was preparing a stuffed trout dish Monday night and I happened to have several bunches of Broccolini, which I typically pair with pasta or Gnocchi. But Monday night I decided to serve it a la carte tossed with some basil pesto I had made the day before. This is something I also do with blanched broccoli or cauliflower, sautéed or grilled zucchini and on occasion, roasted baby red potatoes and carrots. It allows me to serve a fresh seasonal side with minimal fuss – because minimal fuss is important when the day is long and dinner is late.
And who doesn’t love a crisp tender veggie lightly bathed in a spicy and herb laced pesto? Even my picky eater loves this side dish. If you don’t have the time to knock out a homemade pesto, just buy one. There are many excellent, high quality pesto’s in the market these days – many without any preservatives and made exclusively with extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs.
Here’s to making dinner fresh, simple and delicious! Cheers!
Serving Size: 4-6
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs Broccolini, trimmed and larger stalks halved
- 1/2 – 1 cup Basil Pesto (prepared or homemade)
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
- Squeeze of lemon juice
Fill a large pot with water and heat over high heat. Once the water has reached a boil, add about one tablespoon of salt. Then add the broccolini.
Let the broccolini cook for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes for crisp tender or 4 -5 minutes for tender. Drain in a colander and then place in a bowl and toss gently with 1/2 cup of pesto or more if needed. Drizzle with a squeeze of lemon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place on a platter and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan. Serve immediately.
For this recipe, I don’t place the broccolini in an ice bath once it’s cooked as I’m usually serving this right away. If I were going to hold the dish for a few minutes, I’d prepare a bowl with ice and water and let the broccolini rest for a few minutes in the ice bath after cooking, before tossing it with pesto. If you do decide to let it rest in the ice bath, gently heat the pesto before tossing with the broccolini so the dish is warm when served.