Here’s another food that you may not have known about or were too afraid to try…broccolini!
What is broccolini anyway? As much as it may look like a baby broccoli (even I have made that mistake) it isn’t. It’s actually a hybrid of broccoli that was created in 1993. Like broccoli, it’s still a part of the cabbage family. It’s a green vegetable that has smaller florets than broccoli, with long edible stalks and leaves. It tends to have a much milder taste than broccoli (or cabbage for that matter). So if you’re one who doesn’t like the taste of cooked broccoli or cabbage/cauliflower, consider trying out broccolini!
How do I eat it? You could eat it raw, but honestly, it’s better cooked. You could steam, sauté, roast or grill it! I personally like the sauté, grilled or roasted versions of any vegetable the best!
You may also get broccolini confused with a similar green vegetable, broccoli rabe. Although, they may look similar they are actually from different families. Broccoli rabe is more of a turnip/turnip leaves relative then a cabbage relative.
In this dish, I simply replaced the broccoli that I normally would’ve used. Washed, cut and sautéed the broccolini with the rest of the vegetables. Simple. Easy. Tasty.
Are there any foods that you don’t know what to do with, let alone cook? Eggplant is a common one. Let’s learn a little more about this lovely “vegetable”!
Eggplant or also known as aubergine is botanically a fruit and is classified as a berry! It’s a part of the nightshade group and is related to potatoes and tomatoes! There are different forms of eggplant; dwarf/Indian/Baby (small and miniature), Sicilian/Graffiti (slightly smaller than the classic with white streaks), Chinese/Japanese (long and thin) or Classic form of eggplant. Originally from India, they slowly moved their way onto eastern and Southeast Asia, eggplant can be versatile in dishes.
How are you supposed to choose them? Aim for an eggplant with a nice deep purple (if choosing a Classic version) with no blemishes or marks on the skin. In our neck of the woods, they are usually in season in the late summer. Nutritionally speaking, it doesn’t provide much with regards to nutrition, offering mostly water, fibre and manganese and are very low in calories!
As for taste, eggplant can be a little bitter, but can absorb sauces like no body’s business! The texture is the reason why most people dislike eggplant. This is a good reason why eggplant is best paired with tomatoes and can be tasty over pasta! I did a post a few months ago on a roasted eggplant and tomato recipe that I learned while in Italy. If you’re looking for a simple recipe, check it out here.
What’s your favourite way to enjoy eggplant?
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.