Simple roasted broccolini might be one of my favorite vegetable side dishes. It comes out of the oven perfectly tender crisp, with just the right amount of char. This recipe is super simple, delicious and pairs perfectly with whatever else is on your plate. Fish, chicken, beef, whatever!
What’s the difference between broccoli, broccolini, broccoli rabe and Chinese broccoli?
Ever gotten just a little confused when you see all of these in the produce section? Me too. They all come bearing stalks, green leaves and florets, so really what is the difference? Look no further than the experts at The Kitchn to break it down for you in this post, but I will give you the CliffsNotes. Regular broccoli, it’s very versatile and we’re all pretty confident in identifying that. Chinese broccoli is related, but it’s more bitter and often used in sautés or stir fry. Broccoli rabe or rapini isn’t actually related to broccoli at all, it’s actually a member of the turnip family! Crazy, I know. It’s more of a bitter green and should be treated like one. It’s a lot. But let’s focus on broccolini because that’s what we’re doing here.
Broccolini may look like baby broccoli but that’s not completely accurate. It’s actually a hybrid between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. Who knew?!? Broccolini is milder and sweeter and perfect for this recipe, which is why we’re going with it.
How to make roasted broccolini
This recipe is so easy, it’s barely even a recipe. I think the breakthrough here is the simple preparation. When I hear people say they don’t like a certain vegetable, or vegetables in general, I always attribute that to never having it prepared in a way that they find appetizing. Ever had broccoli cooked to the point of mush? Yep, that will turn you off from it forever. If this resonates with you, you need to try roasted broccolini and prepare for your life to change.
Roasted broccolini is as simple as tossing it in some olive oil and roasting it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the tips are brown and crispy. Unlike we’ve been taught to believe, a little burnt edge is a GREAT thing here. Throw a few garlic cloves to soften up on the sheet pan with the broccolini and finish with a squeeze of lemon, sprinkle of salt and a bit of parmesan, if your heart so desires, and you’ll be wondering where this miracle vegetable has been all your life.
Can I do this with regular broccoli?
In short, yes. But the roasting time will vary to get a similar result. I love all kinds of broccoli but if you want to know the truth – broccolini is better than just regular old broccoli when it comes to simple sides. There, I said it. Now go make this!
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What do I need to make roasted broccolini?
Broccolini – most grocery stores will have this. It might not be next to the regular broccoli, I found it next to the herbs at whole foods. Ask someone!
Olive oil – you know the drill. Use the good stuff as the ingredients in this recipe are simple. You will taste the difference. My go-to is The Furies Olive Oil
Salt – sprinkle with salt after it roasts. Salt brings out the moisture in vegetables so seasoning after cooking helps ensure maximum crisp.
Additional but highly recommended:
Garlic – smash a few cloves and throw them on the pan with the broccolini to soften.
Lemon – adds a perfect pop of brightness.
Parmesan – This is totally optional but for me, it’s cheese on everything.
Simple Roasted Broccolini
- 3 bunches broccolini
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 garlic cloves optional
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese optional
- lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Trim a few inches off the ends of the broccolini stems and separate any large stalks into smaller florets
- Place broccolini on a foil lined sheet pan and toss with 2-3 tbsp of good olive oil. If you want to add garlic, cut the root part off of 5-6 cloves of garlic and carefully smash, leaving the skins on. Toss with a little olive oil and place on baking sheet with broccolini.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes until tender crisp. When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve with lemon wedges