Broccolini is having its time in the spotlight thanks to its brilliant versatility, vibrant hue, and distinct peppery taste. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not actually baby broccoli. As bundles of the verdant veggie hit supermarket shelves again, we’re clearing up a little of the mystery that shrouds broccolini, from its fascinating origins to its health benefits.
What is broccolini?
Broccolini is a vegetable that is a mix of broccoli and gai lan (Chinese kale), recognizable by its loose florets and tender stems. It also has a unique mild, peppery taste that becomes sweeter when cooked — distinctively different to broccoli or baby broccoli.
Is broccolini genetically modified?
Broccolini is a natural hybrid (meaning no gene splicing) of broccoli and gai lan. It was developed over eight years by a company in Japan and is trademarked in Australia by Perfection Fresh.
How do you cook broccolini?
Broccolini is edible from floret to stem and works wonderfully with any cuisine. Cooking broccolini can be as simple as blanching for two minutes, then tossing with olive oil and sea salt. It can also be eaten raw, though it tastes sweeter when it's cooked.
What are the health benefits of broccolini?
As with any leafy green vegetable, broccolini has myriad health benefits. It’s high in fiber, feeding the good bacteria in your digestive system for a healthy gut, and it's high in vitamin C, helping to build a strong immune system. Broccolini also has significant levels of vitamin A and potassium to fight inflammation and keep your heart healthy. In addition, beta-carotene-high broccolini promotes healthy, glowing skin.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Food to Love.