In Season – Broccolini with Hollandaise Sauce
A box of perfectly fresh, tender and sweetly just-picked broccolini arrived on my doorstep earlier last week courtesy of the terrific people at Perfection Fresh and I immediately went into overdrive. I was inspired by the sensational produce and wanted to get to work straightaway to make the very best of this beautiful baby green vegetable.
I was swamped by choices. I could have used them in asian style stir fries, in a health-giving green smoothie, even as a souffle. But then my stomach gurgled and helped me realise that I should perhaps have some breakfast before setting to work.
This is what I came up with.
From the same Brassica family as cauliflower and broccoli, broccolini are a hybrid cross of broccoli and chinese kale and are just coming into season now. It’s perfect for the lighter eating choices we adore throughout spring and summer.
Rich in vitamin C, folate, calcium and beta-carotene, broccolini are a wonderful way to eat greens without having to resort to the same old same old cauliflower or broccoli. They are, as you can imagine, a lighter version, both in taste and texture and lend themselves to gentle flavours.
Broccolini goes with lemon, eggs, butter, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts, soy sauce, caramelised onions, garlic, chilli, lime, parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella and goat’s cheese, with tofu or paneer, with dijon, ginger, pepper, oyster sauce, cider vinegar or balsamic, roasted red capsicums, chicken, duck, asian style barbecued meats including pork and smoked salmon.
Broccolini is now in your shops and I urge you to consider a couple of bunches with your next meal. They respond to very light treatment best of all: steam them or stir fry them, stalks and all, for best results, to leave a crunchy, almost al dente feel in your mouth. With such wonderful flavour, it really IS best to use it up within a day or two of purchase and in the meantime, store them in the crisper of your fridge.
I would love you to share your favourite recipe using broccolini. Leave your comment below and tell us about your favourite meal idea using this most versatile vegetable.
My pick will get their dish written up and photographed to be featured here and on Perfection Fresh’s Facebook page. What are you waiting for? Share your favourite recipe, even if it is only a germ of an idea, or an off-the-top-of-your-head thought about this wonderful vegetable. GO!
Entries close 7pm AEST, 14 October 2012
2 bunches broccolini; 4 eggs; 2 tbsp white vinegar, sea salt; lemon to serve
Hollandaise sauce: 125g butter, cut into cubes;2 egg yolks; juice half a lemon; pinch sea salt;
Trim the ends of the broccolini stalks. Set aside.
Hollandaise Sauce: Place butter in a small heat-proof bowl. Melt the butter in a microwave on HIGH for about 40-50 seconds. Set aside.
Place egg yolks and lemon juice, plus a tiny pinch of sea salt in another heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the simmering water.
With a balloon whisk or small electric beaters set on low, gently whisk the yolks and juice for 2-3 minutes until well combined. You will notice tiny air bubbles in the egg yolks.
With one hand using the whisk or beaters, hold the bowl of melted butter with the other and slowly pour the yellow oil in a thin stream into the centre of the yolk mixture. Whisk the butter in as you pour. This is exactly like making a mayonnaise, in that you want to add the butter slowly and allow the egg yolks to emulsify and absorb as much oil as possible.
When all the melted butter has been whisked in over a two minute period, continue whisking the sauce over a low heat until it starts to thicken. It will do so as it warms up and cooks – it’s important to keep whisking the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a teaspoon of hot water from the saucepan to lighten it a little. the sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Once the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and set aside on a bench top, while you finish everything off.
Broccolini: Fill a medium saucepan (wide enough to contain the length of broccolini) to half-way with cold water and bring to the boil. Place the broccolini in the boiling water, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
Poached Eggs: Fill a large saucepan with 10cm of water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and heat until it is barely simmering. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a cup. Use a wooden spoon to swirl the water once or twice around the saucepan so you have created a whirlpool, then lower the cup and ease the egg into the whirlpool. Reduce the heat to maintain the barely simmering water and cook the eggs for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well.
To serve: Place the broccolini on heated plates and spoon an egg onto the top of each green pile. Spoon a thick spoonful of glistening sauce over the top and enjoy at once.
$8.00 for four people