I have a real love affair with broccolini, and it is surprisingly all of my friend's favorite thing to ask me to make (over soufflé?!). I make it whenever the midnight hunger kicks in, so at this point, I have quite a few variations. I posted a recipe for a roasted version a little while ago and would say that while the one below is very similar, it’s slightly more grown up and developed version. Both are tasty but this one has a bit more punch and depth of flavor to it. Don’t make the same mistake I did for far too many years and think that broccolini and broccoli rabe are the same thing, they are not and taste pretty different. Broccoli rabe has a very distinct bitter quality, that some may find off-putting, broccolini is a more mild tasting vegetable with a similar texture.
2 Bunches broccolini
1/4 Cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup olive oil + 1 Tbsp
1 Cup granulated sugar
5 Basil leaves
1 Teaspoon red chili flakes
Salt (preferably Maldon or Kosher)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Drizzle broccolini generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on pre-heated grill or grill pan. Cook until slightly crisp, and dark in color (in parts, not all over)
Peel entirety of lemon with a vegetable peeler, only the yellow part, Reserve rest of lemon for juice. Set aside.
Remove from grill and place on foil lined baking sheet. Place in oven and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
While broccolini is cooking- heat 1 cup of water and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a boil then add lemon peel and basil. Cook for 5 minutes, or until peel is soft but not too tender.
Remove lemon peel from simple syrup mixture and place on chopping board, slice into thin strips lengthwise. Set aside.
Cut broccolini 1/2 inch pieces and place in serving bowl. Add lemon peel, chili flakes, almonds, pecorino and lemon juice. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.