Broccolini is very similar to broccoli except it has longer softer stems and smaller budded heads on them. It can be harder to find than the traditional broccoli you commonly see at the store.
Here are five things you can use to substitute broccolini and get close to the same flavor or texture.
Best Broccolini substitute
When cooking with broccolini you are usually trying to get that earthy grassy flavor in your dish or maybe you are just trying to get in your greens for the day…
Well, there are other ways to get these flavors and nutrients into your dish if you don’t like them or if you don’t have broccolini on hand. Depending on what you are trying to achieve if broccolini was used will depend on what substitution will be best.
Using broccoli is the closest thing to getting the same textures and taste when substituting it for broccolini. Keep in mind that broccoli will be slightly more bitter than sweet and the stalks are thicker and more firm.
If you are making a stir-fry or soup or maybe adding it to a pasta dish, this is the best thing to use in place of broccolini. It still has earthy flavors and crunchy buds but will take a little bit longer to cook.
2. Chinese broccoli
Broccolini is actually a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli from Japan. Chinese broccoli is much leafier, like kale, with small heads of buds on the tips of the stalks.
The stalks are softer than the stalk of broccoli and are sweeter. This makes for a great substitute because it is from the same family and offers the same flavors just more leafy and a little more pungent.
Cauliflower is from the same family as well, so it gives you a lot of the same characteristics that you would get from broccolini.
It is a lot like broccolini in its flavor with a little less bitterness to it. The texture that you will get will be relatively the same.
This is a great option for soups, stews, and stir-fry. Cauliflower is also a great alternative if you are looking to substitute raw broccolini.
Both offer the same texture in their stocks and smaller buds at the tops, asparagus is a great alternative to broccolini.
You will find that asparagus is a little sweeter than broccolini but otherwise, it will give you much of the same textures and flavors in your recipe.
The downside of asparagus is that it is a very seasonal vegetable so it can be hard to find good fresh asparagus outside of the spring months.
Although kale is a leafy green, it can be used to substitute broccolini in just about any dish. It offers an earthy, bitter taste much like broccolini but it doesn’t have the same texture.
Kale can replace broccolini to get the same favors in many dishes except broccoli rice. The leafy green has a lot of the same nutrients if not more.
Learn the best ways how to store broccoli or how to tell if kale is bad on my blog as well.
In conclusion, finding the perfect broccolini substitute is easier than you might think.
With a variety of options like broccoli, Chinese broccoli, rapini, asparagus, and even green beans, you can easily adapt your recipes and enjoy the unique flavors each alternative brings.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with these substitutes and discover new taste sensations in your home-cooked meals. Happy cooking!
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