A healthy and easy tenderstem broccoli side dish is all you need to elevate your meal to another level! Gently boiled, and then pan-fried broccolini is the best quick way to cook this wonderful vegetable! A versatile recipe that goes with a range of meat, poultry and fish dishes, this is our go-to side dish when we’re looking for a flavoursome and nutritious sidekick that is ready in 10 minutes! Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon (and just a pinch of chilli flakes) may just become your favourite side this year!
What is Broccolini?
A type of broccoli and Chinese kale hybrid is referred to by various names in different parts of the world. In the UK, it is most widely known as Tenderstem Broccoli, whilst in the US and other countries, it is called Baby Broccoli or Broccolini. It is long stem broccoli that has edible leaves, flower shoots and stem, and is a perfect no-waste vegetable. Flavour-wise, it is similar to broccoli itself, with slightly sweeter notes and a softer texture. Low in calories and high in Vitamin C, it is certainly a healthy and nutritious vegetable to use in your cooking.
Best Way To Cook Tenderstem Broccoli:
I will be honest, there is no right or wrong answer here. Seb sometimes picks them up and eats them raw, when he cannot wait for dinner. But I much prefer this green vegetable cooked. And the choice is endless. Here are my favourite ways to cook Broccolini:
- Steam. It only takes about 4 minutes to cook in a colander placed above simmering water and covered with a lid ( a steam pan). Simply sprinkle some sea salt on top and serve.
- Fry. The best way to fry is in a wok. You may want to cut the long stems in half to speed up the process. Add a drizzle of your favourite oil (use sesame oil for an Asian-style side dish) and stir fry for 4-5 minutes on high heat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chilli flakes, and serve!
- Roast. Drizzle the tenderstem broccoli with some oil (and add any seasoning or spices) and arrange on a large baking tray. Roast at 180° C Fan for approx 12-14 minutes. See the full Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli recipe.
What Other Flavours Can You Add?
We absolutely love the combination of lemon, garlic and chilli to go with broccoli, but there are other flavours that go very well.
- Drizzle cooked broccolini with balsamic reduction (or shop-bought balsamic glaze).
- Mix with crispy panchetta and sauteed onions.
- Mix with olive oil and Egyptial Dukkah and roast in the oven (the option we took in our Dukkah Roasted Vegetables with Spicy Couscous).
Frequently Asked Questions:
The cooking time of tenderstem broccoli depends on the style of cooking, and of course on your own preference. We like our veggies retaining some crunch. A rough guide for cooking times for steaming, roasting and frying are in the text above.
Yes. It is broccoli and Chinese kale hybrid that is known by different names across the world, including Broccolini, Tenderstem Broccoli and Baby Broccoli.
Absolutely! You may skip the chilli flakes altogether and still have a wonderfully flavoursome dish. Or you can add some very finely chopped red pepper if you’re looking for vibrant colours in your dish.
What Goes Well With Tenderstem Broccoli?
Serve this side dish with meat, poultry and fish. We absolutely love it with:
- Smoked Cheese & Chicken Risotto with Dukkah
- Baked Salmon With Mayo
- BBQ Pork Fillet
- Easter Lamb Stuffed with Apricots
- Slow-Cooker Duck Confit
If you like adding healthy and nutritious sides to your meals have a look at some of our favourite recipes below:
Fried Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon (Garlic Broccolini)
- 220 g tenderstem broccoli
- 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- ½ lemon juice only
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- a pinch of chilli flakes
- Cut tenderstem broccoli into 4-5 cm pieces and place them in a large pan. Pour boiling water into the pan over broccoli and bring to a rapid boil. Cook for 1 minute, then drain in a colander. Your broccoli should soften but still retain most of its crunch.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced garlic and a pinch of chilli flakes. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, season with salt, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Squeeze half a lemon over the broccoli and serve alongside your favourite main dishes.
Broccoli and garlic – is there a better combo than this? Absolutely loving it!
Dionne, Yes! Definitely the best combination! Thanks! 🙂
This is such a simple way to prepare broccolini. It’s on par with my usual oyster sauce method, but this pairs better with western dishes. 🙂
Thanks, Anita! I need to try your oyster sauce method soon! 🙂
This is such an easy and delicious side dish! I enjoyed it with pork chops the other night and think it would even be great with eggs for brunch!
Thanks! Never had broccoli with eggs before, but seems like a good pairing to me… Thanks for the idea!
This broccoli recipe is the perfect side dish! I love to serve it alongside my favorite chicken and rice recipe.
Thanks, Sharon! It’s one of our favourites to serve with chicken too 🙂
This was my first time trying broccolini. I absolutely loved it and will definitely be making it again!
That’s brilliant! So glad you found something new to enjoy! 🙂
I loved this recipe! The garlic gives it the perfect flavor kick. We actually had it alongside a pork roast. So good!
This fried broccoli looks really appetizing and easy to make. It will be a tasty side dish for crispy chicken.
Oh yes! It’ll go beautifully with crispy chicken 🙂
This looks amazing and I love the tips to add in different flavours too
THis looks wonderful! Perfect side dish to so many meals. Can’t wait to try this out!!
Yes! So versatile – we are yet to find a dish that it doesn’t complement well 🙂
We love broccolini in this house and it’s always best when kept simple, like this recipe. So tasty with all of that garlicky goodness!
It came out so well. We loved the spice and lemon!
Glad you liked it!
So simple but soo delicious! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks, Patricia! It’s one of those recipes that lets the ingredients speak for themselves 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!
My husband was grumbling at the healthy food I bought so I searched for something to make the broccoli more interesting rather than just boiling it like a usually would. Luckily I bought lemons anyway today. It was a winner with my husband and I! I’ll be making this again!
Thanks, Nat! We love it when healthy food tastes great! 🙂 Glad you and your husband liked the recipe!
Such a simple yet flavorful side dish. Love it!
This is my favourite way to cook tenderstem. So much flavour.