Enjoying Broccolini while it is in seasonTuesday, August 27, 2013
Veg looses flavour and freshness once it's harvested. That sadly is one reason why Singaporeans will not be able to taste veg at their best as we mostly eat imported ones. There is something to be said about those grown here and I will leave that to another post.
Of course Singapore is a huge importer of veg and fruits from down under.
I was introduced to air-flown Australian Broccolini by my regular veg supplier, Mr Loon, who himself is very passionate and knowledgeable about vegetables. Loon and his perky mum manned their stall at the Holland Village market. They call their business Green Harvest (contact info below). While their prices may not be the cheapest around, I am guaranteed of good honest service and recommendations. Their passion for their produce go before business and this is why I like to patronise their stall.
At $28 per kilo, it is not exactly cheap but Broccolini is light and a bunch (about $4) is good enough for 2-3 pax. It is sweet and crunchy when cooked the right way.
There are many ways to cook it of course. As it is tasty as is, the flavorings you use should not mask the veg's.
|Great quality veg from Australia and Camerons|
For most types of green leafy veg or stem veg (i.e. Kai Lan, Broccoli), blanching and cooling is one way to ensure cruchiness and retention of the green color.
Direct sautee-ing without prior blanching will work too. There is no point in my giving you any measurements or timing as your fire, wok and wok action will be different. But once you are experienced with this, you will know how to estimate the time. I won't cook it for more than five minutes in the wok. Unlike blanching, one good thing about sautee-ing is to keep more of the flavours in. At least in theory we can imagine it to be so though when it comes to actual eating, it is not discernible.
Steaming will work too. Likewise, glazing in a pot with some butter or olive oil.
As for sauces, oyster sauce, miso sauce will go well. But don't overwhelm the veg. They add a bit of salty flavour to this sweet veg. Some oil for the mouthfeel olive, sesame or shallot oil. After light blanching, it is also good as a salad too. Balsamic vinegar...
Now, there will be the occasional stem (about 5%) which will be chewy and I think I would rather have this then overcooking the whole lot.
Broccolini is in season and I think it is worth giving this a go. With the 3-minute blanching as a guide, I am sure you can figure out how to cook this.
Check out Loon's Green Harvest Facebook for info on whether he has a fresh supply of this veg.