I’ll have a side of Broccolini

March 13, 2016

In the vein of the delicious side order on so many restaurant menus, start by blanching 1 bunch broccolini in a big pot of very salty boiling water (think ocean, both in saltiness and room to swim) for 2 to 3 minutes, until quite tender but not limp and mushy. I personally don’t like my broccolini crunchy, but if you do, cut back on the blanching time.

Stop the cooking by draining the broccolini and plunging it into a large bowl filled with ice and water. Once cooled, remove from the water, give the stalks a tight squeeze to drain any excess water, then slice them all into 2″ / 5 cm segments. They will absorb more flavor, and will be easier to serve and eat.

Very lightly crush 1 tablespoon raw unsalted pumpkin seeds with a mortar and pestle. Over a medium-low flame, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy gauge skillet, then sauté the pumpkin seeds until they begin to toast. Stir in red chili flakes to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds and a generous amount of kosher salt and sauté 1 minute or so.

Raise the heat under your pan and quickly toss in the broccolini, stirring to coat with the seasoning and heating it the all the way through. Serve immediately.

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