Broccolini gets the full holiday treatment with garlic, orange zest, pecans and butter. Normally, steaming would be a good option. But when you're cooking this quantity of the vegetable, boiling is the best method to ensure the stalks are properly cooked.
What can be prepared early is the topping of buttered pecans with orange and garlic, which can be finished a few hours in advance and held at room temperature. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat just before serving, adding a tablespoon or two of butter if the nuts seem dry.
Make Ahead: The broccolini is best served right after cooking. Like many vegetables in the cabbage family, it turns an ugly green and grows stronger in flavor when cooked ahead of time.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- Finely grated zest from 1 medium orange (1 teaspoon)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 2 pounds broccolini (root ends trimmed), rinsed
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, until it becomes fragrant and starts to soften. Add the butter and stir until it has melted, then add the orange zest and pecans, mixing well. Season with salt to taste. Cook, stirring once or twice, for 4 to 5 minutes, allowing the nuts to toast in the butter.
Add the broccolini to the boiling water; after the water returns to a boil, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, just until tender. (It might be necessary to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of the pot.) The stalks should still be a little crisp and have a bright green color. Test by quickly removing and cutting into one of the stalks.
Remove the cooked stalks and drain. Transfer to a serving dish. Cook the remaining stalks if needed.
Top the broccolini with the toasted nut mixture; serve hot.
From In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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