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Broccolini gone awry?

In an effort to eat more healthfully, I got two lovely fresh bunches of broccolini (broccoli rabe.) I whooshed it around with olive oil and sliced garlic, tenderly caressed it with salt, and roasted it at 350 for 10-12 minutes, tossing it once. We all found it inedible, and we're people who happily eat swiss chard and spinach, and dutifully eat kale and regular broccoli. Did I do something wrong, or will I just never be a fan?

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  1. I've heard people say that they find it bitter and when cooking, the best way to get rid of that bitterness is to blanch it for a couple minutes then plunge it into an ice bath. You can drain and then roast. I wish I could find it where I live.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cherylptw

      That's how I start out, then I sautee it with lots of sliced or roasted garlic cloves in olive oil, adding some chicken stock and white wine and s and p at the end. I would never roast it, I like it still bright on the stems, just tender leaves and crisp tender stems. Sauterne wine actually works really well with this.

    2. Was it broccolini or broccoli rabe? Broccoli rabe can be bitter but I've never found that with broccolini.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        I just went and checked the tag. It was broccoli rabe, and it also said rappini -- isn't that what Rapunzel went into the witch's garden to eat?

        1. re: somervilleoldtimer

          Broccoli rabe is on the bitter side and it's one vegetable my kids can't eat because of it. I like it but also like mustard greens and things like that. If you get a chance to try broccolini, that's like a cross between asparagus and broccoli and much more mild. I like it a lot, too.

      2. I love broccoli, spinach, chard, et al, but tough I've tried many times to like it I just find broccoli rabe so bitter as to be inedible. There's plenty of other greens in the world; I'm okay with not liking one.

        1. What did you find inedible about the rabe? As other poster have written bitterness is inherent in this vegetable.

          2 Replies
          1. re: KTinNYC

            It was quite bitter. What I didn't mind was a distinct horseradishy-flavor -- it tasted a lot like horseradish leaves, which I sometimes take a tiny bit of in my garden.
            You know, I'm not a big fan of broccoli either, although I do eat it because it's good for me. I like cauliflower, although not raw, and I love cabbage every possible way, including raw. Maybe I'll try it once again, blanched and then roasted, as Cherylptw suggested above. My guess is that like Emmmily, I just won't be eating this veggie.

            1. re: somervilleoldtimer

              Blanching will take away a little of bitterness but I think you are right when you say you "just won't be eating this veggie." I love the bitterness in broccoli rabe but it's not for every one.

          2. Well, broccolini is *going* to be a bit bitter, so no matter how you cook it that bitterness will always be there.

            Blanching it will reduce some of that bitterness, but it'll still have bitter undertones.

            Also, from your description it doesn't seem like you roasted it long enough or a high enough temp. When I roast broccolini (which is admittedly very rare), I preheat oven to 400F and roast for 20 minutes. The broccolini should be fork tender when done. Undercooking it may have been part of your problem.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Hmmm. YOu may be right. It was not fork tender -- we had to use knives for the stems and it was pretty tough in the mouth.
              Why do you use it so rarely?

              1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                I prefer the bitterness of the brocollini and usually just blanch it quickly, or steam it.

                Roasting it makes it almost a bit too sweet for me, but it's still good nonetheless.

                Try it again and if you still find it offensive, maybe it just isn't for you.

                Cheers.