Broccolini is one of our (few) go-to vegetables. For me and my (child-like) palate, the beautiful thing about broccolini is that it does not have an overpowering vegetable flavor, unlike regular broccoli and other vegetables prepared in certain ways (looking at you, sauteed spinach). We have a quick and easy sauteed version of broccolini that we love so much and make so often that even I don’t need to consult the recipe anymore when cooking it. But they say that variety is the spice of life, so the time eventually came to try a new broccolini recipe. Trying new things can be difficult (says this Texas girl living outside her home state for the first time in more than 30 years), so we went with a broccolini recipe that not only incorporates several of our other favorite ingredients: mushrooms, wine and Parmesan, but also calls for the simple preparation method of roasting the broccolini. The rich flavor of the mushrooms and Parmesan pairs well but doesn’t overwhelm the fresh, light flavor of the more delicate broccolini. Sometimes change is good, and we appreciate putting an elevated, more fancy spin on an old favorite.
Thinly slice about 4 ounces of cremini mushrooms. Other types of mild-tasting mushrooms (baby bella or plain white ones) would also work in this recipe, but I probably wouldn’t try shiitakes or any mushrooms with a more distinctive flavor.
Trim off the tough ends of the broccolini — about an inch or so.
The original recipe calls for a “sweet onion,” but we happened to have a shallot so we used that instead since shallots are typically more mild than onions. Finely chop the shallot (or onion).
The recipe also calls for grated Parmesan cheese as garnish. We used one of these rotary cheese graters to get a finely shredded texture for the cheese (also because we tend to forget we have the thing and hardly ever use it).
Put the broccolini on a cookie sheet, drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with a little bit of salt. Be careful not to oversalt the broccolini, since the mushrooms and Parmesan will add their own salty flavor. (Dan seemed to think our finished dish was a little too salty, but I disagreed. Probably because I consider salt to be its own food group.) Roast the broccolini in the oven preheated to 375 degrees until it’s crisp-tender — about 10-12 minutes. Turn the broccolini pieces over once, halfway through the cooking time.
Heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the shallots and a dash of salt and cook until the shallots begin to soften — about 5-7 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook until they release and re-absorb their liquid and turn golden brown — about 8-10 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons white wine to the skillet and cook until the liquid is gone — about 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle the Parmesan over the roasted broccolini while it is still warm so the cheese will melt a bit.
Place the broccolini on a plate, spoon the mushrooms on top and serve. “Crisp-tender” broccolini tends to be more crisp than tender and therefore, a little awkward to cut with a fork. To ensure the optimal mushroom-to-broccolini bite ratios, consider cutting the broccolini into smaller pieces before plating the dish and adding the mushrooms. And consider embracing change when and where you can — it may lead to delicious results!