Broccolini Salad

This broccolini salad is packed with flavor! It pairs the unique vegetable with mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing. If you’re a broccolini lover, hold onto your hats. Here’s the recipe for you! Meet this epic broccolini salad. It stars those sweet, tender elegant florets that look so much fancier than regular old broccoli. Pair that with baby bella mushrooms, red onion, and the punch of fresh dill, and cover it all in a tangy vinaigrette dressing. Wow, is this good! It’s so unique and a total crowd pleaser. It’s lightly based on a salad we had in Spain a few moons ago…and we’re truly over the moon for it. Here’s what to know about this salad! What is broccolini, exactly? Before we start, let’s talk about broccolini. It looks like a baby version of broccoli, but this veggie is not quite that. And it’s got a history that might surprise you! Here’s what to know about broccolini: Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It has both the long stems of Chinese broccoli and the florets of broccoli, and has a milder flavor than broccoli. Broccolini was invented in 1993! Wait, what? We would have guessed it […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This broccolini salad is packed with flavor! It pairs the unique vegetable with mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

Broccolini salad

If you’re a broccolini lover, hold onto your hats. Here’s the recipe for you! Meet this epic broccolini salad. It stars those sweet, tender elegant florets that look so much fancier than regular old broccoli. Pair that with baby bella mushrooms, red onion, and the punch of fresh dill, and cover it all in a tangy vinaigrette dressing. Wow, is this good! It’s so unique and a total crowd pleaser. It’s lightly based on a salad we had in Spain a few moons ago…and we’re truly over the moon for it. Here’s what to know about this salad!

What is broccolini, exactly?

Before we start, let’s talk about broccolini. It looks like a baby version of broccoli, but this veggie is not quite that. And it’s got a history that might surprise you! Here’s what to know about broccolini:

  • Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It has both the long stems of Chinese broccoli and the florets of broccoli, and has a milder flavor than broccoli.
  • Broccolini was invented in 1993! Wait, what? We would have guessed it was an ingredient Italian grandmothers cook with. Nope, it’s not even 20 years old.
  • How to find it: It’s not available at all grocery stores, but it’s becoming easier to find. Look for the small bunches of broccoli with long stems.
Broccolini salad

Ingredients in broccolini salad

This easy broccolini salad tastes like more than the sum of its parts. It’s got just a few fresh ingredients, and the rest you can probably dig out of your pantry. Here’s what you need:

  • Broccolini: 3 bunches, to be exact. Bunches can vary in size, but they’re typically quite small (about 8 ounces each)
  • Red onion
  • Baby bella mushrooms: the mushrooms are raw in this salad, which brings a delightful texture contrast to the crunchy broccolini
  • Fresh dill: you can substitute another herb like oregano in a pinch, but dill adds just the right flavor (or see these other dill substitutes)
  • Parmesan cheese: you can omit for vegan, but it adds a great savory note
  • White wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Maple syrup or sugar: either works, use maple for a naturally sweet dressing
  • Olive oil & salt
Broccolini

Tastes best fresh!

This healthy broccolini salad has the best flavor when it’s freshly made. However, you can store leftovers refrigerated. Unlike this broccoli salad, the flavors don’t intensify over time: they actually dull a bit. So if you do have leftovers, revive them by adding a pinch of salt or a splash of white wine vinegar.

Summer salads

More great salads to pair

There’s nothing better than a few salads to make a summer salad dinner! We served this broccolini salad with a sampling of other salads with the best produce summer has to offer. If you do make it a meal, we recommend incorporating a protein element with a bean salad or black eyed pea salad. Try some of these zesty recipes:

How to make broccolini salad

This broccolini salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the Parmesan cheese.

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Broccolini salad

Simple Broccolini Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 18 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This broccolini salad is packed with flavor! It pairs the unique vegetable with mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing. 


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds or 3 bunches broccolini
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced into slivers
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large sprigs fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan shavings
  • Lemon zest, optional

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Chop the broccolini into florets, keeping the stems long. 
  2. When the water is boiling, add the broccolini and cook it for 2 minutes. Remove it from the water with tongs and place it in an ice bath for a minute or so until cool. Pat the florets dry. 
  3. Meanwhile, thinly slice the red onion into slivers (you may want to rinse or let it soak in water ot remove some of the bite, then shake it dry). Thinly slice the mushrooms.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup or sugar, and kosher salt. Gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time. 
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the broccolini, red onion, raw mushrooms, dill sprigs, Parmesan shavings, and vinaigrette dressing. If desired, garnish with lemon zest. Serve immediately. The flavor is best fresh, but you can store leftovers refrigerated. (You may need to add a bit of salt or a splash of white wine vinegar to revive the flavors after refrigerating.)

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Broccolini salad

More broccolini and broccoli recipes

Here’s another broccolini recipe, plus a few more broccoli recipes to enjoy this healthy family of vegetables:

  • Perfect Roasted Broccolini A hot oven is the best way to cook this veggie: it comes out even more delicious than its cousin broccoli.
  • Broccoli Slaw This creamy broccoli slaw is irresistibly tasty! It’s easy to make using fresh broccoli or the packaged mix you can find in most grocery stores.
  • Creamy Broccoli Potato Soup Intensely creamy, satisfying, and 100% plant based! It’s an easy healthy soup that everyone loves.
  • Roasted Broccoli and Carrots Mix up your side dish routine by a pairing that’s full of contrasts.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Roasted Broccolini

Roasted broccolini is impressive with little effort! A hot oven is the best way to cook this veggie: it comes out even more delicious than its cousin broccoli. Here’s our new very favorite easy side dish around here: roasted broccolini! Alex and I avoided broccolini for a while because honestly: it seemed like it was trying a little too hard. Hi, I’m broccolini: broccoli’s much cooler and more sophisticated cousin. But guess what? After trying it roasted, we’re solidly on the broccoli train. It’s even more delicious than roasted broccoli (if that’s possible!), with a sweet flavor and tender crunch. Even better: it looks fancier and takes less time to cook. Here’s how to cook broccolini into the very best side dish. What is broccolini, exactly? It might look like baby broccoli, but it’s actually not: though it’s sometimes labeled that way in the grocery store. Here’s what to know about broccolini: Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It has both the long stems of Chinese broccoli and the florets of broccoli, and has a milder flavor than broccoli. Broccolini was invented in 1993! Doesn’t it seem like an Italian ingredient with hundreds of years of history? […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Roasted broccolini is impressive with little effort! A hot oven is the best way to cook this veggie: it comes out even more delicious than its cousin broccoli.

Roasted broccolini

Here’s our new very favorite easy side dish around here: roasted broccolini! Alex and I avoided broccolini for a while because honestly: it seemed like it was trying a little too hard. Hi, I’m broccolini: broccoli’s much cooler and more sophisticated cousin. But guess what? After trying it roasted, we’re solidly on the broccoli train. It’s even more delicious than roasted broccoli (if that’s possible!), with a sweet flavor and tender crunch. Even better: it looks fancier and takes less time to cook. Here’s how to cook broccolini into the very best side dish.

What is broccolini, exactly?

It might look like baby broccoli, but it’s actually not: though it’s sometimes labeled that way in the grocery store. Here’s what to know about broccolini:

  • Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It has both the long stems of Chinese broccoli and the florets of broccoli, and has a milder flavor than broccoli.
  • Broccolini was invented in 1993! Doesn’t it seem like an Italian ingredient with hundreds of years of history? Nope, it’s not even 20 years old.
  • How to find it: It’s not available at all grocery stores, but it’s becoming more widely carried. It’s usually by the broccoli, so look for the small bunches of broccoli with long stems.
Broccolini

The keys to roasted broccolini

Making roasted broccolini is quick and easy, but it looks like a fancy side dish! It’s so irresistible that we ended up eating most of it right off of the roasting pan. This is SO good, I kept exclaiming. Something about the sweet flavor makes it hard to stop eating. It doesn’t have that slight bitter taste like broccoli (and other cruciferous vegetables like kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts).

There are only a few things to know about making roasted broccolini: it’s so simple! Here’s what to do:

  • Chop off about 2 inches of the ends of the broccolini. The ends can be tough, so chop them off before roasting. Then mix with olive oil and salt, and lay the stalks in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Roast at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. All you need is 15 minutes for broccolini, vs 20 to 25 minutes for standard broccoli. Roasting in a very hot oven makes it crispy and browned at the edges.
  • Spritz with lemon and add grated garlic. Our favorite way to flavor broccoli: just fresh lemon juice and a little fresh garlic. It takes it from good to life changing!
Roasted broccolini

How to cook broccolini

There are of course other ways to cook broccolini: but none as delicious as roasting, in our minds! Here are the basic ways to cook it:

Roasted broccolini with lemon

Ways to serve roasted broccolini

Roasted broccolini pairs with all sorts of main dishes! It’s especially perfect for entertaining, and makes any dinner party entree seem that much fancier. Here are some ideas on how to serve it:

Roasted broccolini

This roasted broccolini recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Roasted broccolini

Easy Roasted Broccolini


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Roasted broccolini is impressive with little effort! A hot oven is the best way to cook this veggie: it comes out even more delicious than its cousin broccoli.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds or 3 bunches broccolini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop off about 2 inches of the ends of the broccolini. In a medium bowl, mix it with with the olive oil and kosher salt.
  3. Place the broccolini on the pan in a single layer. Roast for about 15 minutes, until tender and slightly browned (no need to stir!).
  4. Remove the pan from the oven. Grate the garlic onto the pan, and squeeze on the lemon juice. Use a spoon to gently toss it all together (separating any grated garlic that clumps together). Serve immediately.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Roasted Broccolini Recipe, How to Cook Broccolini, Baby Broccoli

More roasted vegetables!

Roasting is our very favorite way to cook vegetables! Here are some more of our favorite easy and healthy side dish recipes:

  • Favorite Roasted Cauliflower Roasting it makes this veggie irresistibly good, you can’t stop eating it.
  • Roasted Kale Baked until tender and crispy at the edges! It’s a unique and delicious way to eat kale.
  • Roasted Carrots Bake these carrots until tender with lemon wedges and fresh thyme…they turn out amazing.
  • Perfect Roasted Eggplant Baking eggplant until it’s tender makes for unreal flavor.
  • Roasted Asparagus Bake it for 10 minutes then spritz with lemon: the perfect side dish!
  • Roasted Radishes A unique easy side dish, roasted radishes come out vibrant and juicy, with a sweet, mild flavor.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Vegan Pasta Primavera

This vegan pasta primavera is so full of flavor! It features spaghetti with spring vegetables like asparagus, peas, spinach, and zesty lemon. Ready for a veggie-filled pasta that tastes incredible with no need for cheese? Meet this vegan pasta primavera. Pasta primavera is all about fresh, green spring veggies and a delicate, light flavor. It’s everything that a heavy mac and cheese or lasagna are not. So once the first sprouts of green start to come in the spring: we start to crave pasta primavera. Turns out the concept is pretty loose, so here’s our spin on the classic: full of flavor and fully plant based. What is pasta primavera, anyway? Great question. From the name, you might guess pasta primavera is a time-honored Italian recipe dating back hundreds of years. Italian grandmother fare, right? Couldn’t be further from the truth. Pasta primavera was born in the 1970’s in New York! It was a dish at a New York City restaurant called Le Cirque, made with spaghetti, lots of fresh spring vegetables, and a lemon cream sauce. So much for hundreds of years of tradition. (We came to learn the same is true of broccolini and Saint Germaine. Who knew!) […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This vegan pasta primavera is so full of flavor! It features spaghetti with spring vegetables like asparagus, peas, spinach, and zesty lemon.

Vegan pasta primavera

Ready for a veggie-filled pasta that tastes incredible with no need for cheese? Meet this vegan pasta primavera. Pasta primavera is all about fresh, green spring veggies and a delicate, light flavor. It’s everything that a heavy mac and cheese or lasagna are not. So once the first sprouts of green start to come in the spring: we start to crave pasta primavera. Turns out the concept is pretty loose, so here’s our spin on the classic: full of flavor and fully plant based.

What is pasta primavera, anyway?

Great question. From the name, you might guess pasta primavera is a time-honored Italian recipe dating back hundreds of years. Italian grandmother fare, right? Couldn’t be further from the truth. Pasta primavera was born in the 1970’s in New York! It was a dish at a New York City restaurant called Le Cirque, made with spaghetti, lots of fresh spring vegetables, and a lemon cream sauce. So much for hundreds of years of tradition. (We came to learn the same is true of broccolini and Saint Germaine. Who knew!)

Vegan pasta primavera

Ingredients in this vegan pasta primavera

Is this vegan pasta primavera a classic pasta primavera? Well, turns out it’s one of those things that can be made in many different ways. There’s no real “recipe”: aside from using pasta and the freshest of seasonal vegetables. Plus, it usually has Parmesan cheese and this is a vegan version! So it’s a loose interpretation of the general concept.

Primavera means spring in Italian, we wanted to highlight all our favorite spring vegetables. Here are the good-for-you vegetables in this vegan pasta primavera:

Vegan pasta primavera

Variations on this recipe: other veggie & sauce ideas!

Since there’s a lot of variation in what vegetables are featured in pasta primavera, you could add really any vegetables you like to this recipe. Some we’d recommend are:

  • Sliced ripe cherry tomatoes: Tomatoes are more summery than spring, but they add great color. Whatever you do, make sure they are ripe (some hydroponic grocery tomatoes can be ok off season). Throw in 1 handful with the garlic at the end.
  • Thinly sliced carrot: Carrots also add nice color. Slice them into matchsticks and add them with the asparagus.
  • Zucchini: Many pasta primavera recipes include zucchini; you could throw sliced zucchini in with the asparagus as well.
  • Creamy sauce: Want it creamy instead? Try it with our Vegan Alfredo Sauce (nix the seasonings at the end).
Pasta primavera

The noodles! Use long or short cuts

Long spaghetti noodles feature in our vegan pasta primavera because we like the elegant look of the long noodles. But this dish works with short types of pasta too! Here are a few types we’d recommend trying:

  • Long noodles: It would be great with bucatini, linguine, and fettuccine.
  • Short noodles: It works well with penne, rigatoni, cavatappi, gemelli, or farfalle.

For gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free pasta, or try some of the legume or lentil pastas on the market.

How to cook pasta to al dente

The key to a good pasta dish is always this: cook the pasta to al dente. You’ll want to make sure it’s perfect for this pasta primavera. What’s al dente? In Italian it means “to the bite.” It refers to pasta that is still firm on the inside when cooked. The ideal al dente texture is a tender exterior balanced by a firm bite with a fleck of white at its core. Here’s how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water.
  • While cooking, check pasta continually for doneness.
  • As soon as the pasta has a tender exterior but a fleck of white at its core, drain it! Even a few seconds can be the difference between al dente and limp noodles.
Vegan pasta

More vegan pasta recipes

Do you love making vegan pasta? We’ve got lots of great recipes that might be up your alley. Here are our favorites:

  • Vegan Pasta Alfredo Decadent, creamy, and full of healthy plant based ingredients. An easy dinner in under 30 minutes!
  • Favorite Vegan Lasagna About to become your new favorite: guaranteed. Full of flavor, it’s a winner with everyone!
  • Roasted Eggplant Pasta Flavor-packed with roasted eggplant & zesty marinara sauce! An impressive plant based dinner.
  • Vegan Pesto Pasta This killer vegan pesto pasta gets big flavor from emerald green basil pesto, ripe cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil.

This vegan pasta primavera recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free or legume pasta.

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Vegan pasta primavera

Vegan Pasta Primavera


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan pasta primavera is so full of flavor! It features spaghetti with spring vegetables like asparagus, peas, spinach, and zesty lemon. 


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound (1/2 bunch) asparagus
  • 1 bunch broccolini (or 2 cups broccoli florets, with stems kept as long as possible)
  • 3 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped (or 3 ounces baby spinach)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups frozen peas (10 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus lemon zest to garnish

Or, mix it up: Try it with our Vegan Alfredo Sauce instead (nix the final 4 ingredients).


Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is al dente (start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside). Then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Chop the vegetables: Meanwhile, thinly slice the portobello mushroom caps (remove the stems). Chop off the tough end of the asparagus. Slice in half lengthwise so that each stalk forms 2 long thin stalks (doesn’t have to be perfect). Then slice them in half crosswise. Slice off the thick ends of the broccolini and keep the large florets (if using broccoli, cut the broccoli into medium small florets, keeping the stem as long as possible). Wash and roughly chop the spinach, removing any long stems (skip this if using packaged baby spinach). Mince the garlic.
  3. Cook the vegetables: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the broccolini and asparagus and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly until wilted. Add the frozen peas and saute for 1 minute. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute. (You could also consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes at this point!)
  4. Add olive oil to pasta: Once the pasta is cooked and drained, drizzle it with olive oil.
  5. Add final flavorings and serve: In a small bowl stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the onion powder, dried oregano, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. After the vegetables are done, stir in the pasta and toss so the vegetables are evenly distributed, then pour the olive oil and spice mixture on the pasta and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt if necessary (or serve with salt). Serve immediately garnished with lemon zest.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Vegan Pasta Primavera

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes