A Technique Twist Gets a Kid to Eat His Broccoli

Could technique be the saving grace for otherwise shunned kid vegetables? A recent lazy move led me to this thought. Tired of grilling, but spoiled by the fact that grilling doesn’t raise the temperature of our still hot Southern California home, I decided to saute some broccolini on a pan on the grill. Not on the side burner, mind you, but by placing the sautee pan straight on the grate (burners going full bore; cooking a rib eye to be shared by the four of us. Plus the requisite 6 slices of rustic country white). I put the pan, with a shot of olive oil and a sliced clove of garlic, on the grate until the oil started shimmering and the clove sizzled. I put the brocollini in, salted and peppered it, and sauteed it until it glistened, it’s end bits a little crispy and brown, and the stalks yielded just so to the bite. I chopped it up and served it with the steak. Two year old Desi wolfed it down. The next night he ate the leftovers too, preferring it to the chicken sausage we grilled (the grilled radicchio: he hated it; spitting it into my hand).

Mind you: steamed broccolini he has not enjoyed much in the past. No surprise. Steamed is not a blockbluster technique. Oven roasted broccolini he is equally uninterested in. So it’s not the high heat caramelization thing alone he likes. Was it the oil? The smoke of the grill? Once it’s too cool outside to grill-sautee, we’ll see. We’ll go back to the stove and try your basic old-fashioned sauteeing. Fingers crossed.

Grill-Sauteed Broccolini
The trick with this is a super hot pan, plenty of salt, a little garlic

1 pound broccolini
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
olive oil
salt and pepper

heat a big sautee pan on an open grill (that is: lid up), add the oil and garlic (remember: the ambient heat of the grill will get the pan handle HOT, so always keep an oven mitt or pot holder in your hand for when you need to grab the handle). Let the garlic sizzle for 30 seconds or so, then add the broccolini, salt and pepper. Let it sit their for a few minutes, then give it a stir or flip. Let it go a few more minutes. Stir again. Etc, for a total of 8 or so minutes or until the broccolini is tender, slightly caramelized on the ends, and just the way you want it. If it’s a bit bland, do the usual: add a little more salt. Remove from pan and serve while warm (for the little ones: cut it up into quarter inch pieces; for the grownups: leave whole). Goes great with pork or chicken or sausage.

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One Response to A Technique Twist Gets a Kid to Eat His Broccoli

  1. matthew says:

    Mmmmm….get me some.
    here’s another grilling idea to make veg tasty for the kids – toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper, then cook over a direct heat. When the asparagus goes limp (if you get my drift) remove and serve. They have that same carmelized exterior and are soft and succulent to the core.

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