I could eat this Charred Broccolini with Lemon, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan several times a week and never tire of it. Mild and sweet broccolini is pan-seared in garlic oil until tender with crispy black edges then topped with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. After plating, butter-browned lemon slices, toasted pine nuts, and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese join the dish along with a finishing sprinkle of flaky sea salt. This easy side dish is crisp, verdant, and brightly citrusy with the perfect pinch of heat. Make this dish in 25 minutes!
What should I serve charred broccolini with?
This Charred Broccolini with Lemon, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan pairs well with just about any main protein you prefer including, grilled or roasted chicken, fish, steak, burgers, pork, and shrimp. If you're looking to pair it with a meatless main, it would be lovely with grilled halloumi, crispy tofu, or a veggie burger. Some of my favorite recipes to pair this charred broccolini with are:
- Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak with Avocado Chimichurri Sauce
- Anchovy Chicken Thighs with Green Olives and Potatoes
- Roasted Salmon with Feta and Herbs
- Crispy Oven-Fried Fish
- Shrimp in Romesco Sauce with White Beans
- Greek Lamb Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce
- Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
- Pasta with Olive Tapenade (meatless)
Can I swap out another vegetable for broccolini?
If you are unable to source broccolini you can absolutely make this dish with an alternative green veggie like broccoli rabe, broccoli, or asparagus. But I want to stress that each vegetable has its own flavor profile, so there will be differences between each.
Sometimes referred to as baby broccoli, broccolini is identifiable by its long, thin green stalks, loose florets, soft leaves, and (at times) small yellow flowers. It has a mild, sweet flavor profile and only requires a quick sear to tenderize.
Broccoli rabe (or broccoli raab) is very similar in appearance to broccolini because they both have long thin stalks, so it's easy to mix the two up. However, broccoli rabe is much leafier with smaller florets that are less plentiful. The flavor profile is also very different, with broccoli rabe offering a very strong bitter taste compared to broccolini. You can absolutely swap the broccolini for broccoli rabe but be warned that the flavor profile will be very different and may require a bit more acid and salt.
Identifiable by thick green stalks, slightly leathery leaves, and clusters of compact bud florets that make up a "crown," broccoli is very different than broccolini in both look and taste. The flavor profile is slightly bittersweet with a mouthfeel that is a bit meatier owing to firm stalks. If you would like to swap the broccolini in this recipe out for broccoli, I suggest slicing the broccoli into thinner pieces and keeping more length to the stalk intact than you might normally consider.
Though you are unlikely to mix up broccolini and asparagus, I want to offer this option as a great alternative to broccolini because it boasts a similar mild and sweet flavor profile and tender texture to broccolini. If I was unable to source broccolini, asparagus would be my second choice to reach for to mimic the flavor and texture of this dish.
Can I substitute the pine nuts for another nut?
Yes, absolutely. If you prefer to use an alternative nut, toasted walnuts or toasted slivered almonds are both really nice in this broccolini recipe.
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A cutting board
- A chef's knife
- A kitchen scale
- Measuring spoons
- A large skillet
- A wooden spoon
- 2 small prep bowls
- A large plate or platter
- Kitchen tongs
- A cheese shaver
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
Looking for more recipe inspiration?
Love this Charred Broccolini with Lemon, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan recipe? Here are some more recipes that you might enjoy:
- Gorgonzola Pasta with Browned Butter Lemon and Broccolini
- Roasted Acorn Squash with Calabrian Chili and Lemon
- Za'atar Roasted Carrots with Labneh, Honey, and Pistachios
- Crispy Cauliflower with Romesco and Feta
- Mediterranean Roasted Rainbow Vegetables
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey Sriracha Sauce
I could eat this Charred Broccolini with Lemon, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan several times a week and never tire of it. Mild and sweet broccolini is pan-seared in garlic oil until tender with crispy black edges then topped with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. After plating, butter browned lemon slices, toasted pine nuts, and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese join the dish along with a finishing sprinkle of flaky sea salt. This easy side dish is crisp, verdant, and brightly citrusy with the perfect pinch of heat.
- 1 tbsp (about 12 g) pine nuts
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium (about 3 oz) Meyer lemon, thinly sliced, ends and seeds discarded (may sub for regular lemons)
- 1 tbsp Meyer lemon juice
- 2 bunches (about 12 oz) broccolini, ends trimmed
- 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil, divided (may sub for 2 tbsp regular olive oil + 2 cloves minced garlic)
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½-1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- 1 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved (May sub for Asiago cheese if preferred)
- In a large, dry (no oil) skillet over medium heat toast the pine nuts. Stir often until nuts become fragrant and begin to turn golden; about 3-minutes. Watch closely as nuts can quickly burn. Once toasted remove from heat and transfer the nuts to a small bowl.
- Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the butter and allow to melt, then add lemon slices and cook, stirring often, until butter begins to brown and lemon has softened and is beginning to brown on both sides. Remove lemon and reserve to the side in a small bowl.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of the divided garlic-infused olive oil. Once shimmering, add half of the broccolini to the pan. Allow to cook undisturbed for about 3-4 minutes. Once the bottom side is beginning to char slightly, use tongs to flip the broccolini, then continue cooking for 2-3 minutes on the opposite side. You want the stalks to be lightly charred but still have a bit of crispness to them. Reserve the first batch of cooked broccolini to the side on a plate.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of garlic-infused olive oil to the pan, then the second half of the broccolini. Repeat cooking until lightly charred on both sides.
- Once the second side is cooked, remove the pan from heat and add the reserved first half of cooked broccolini back to the pan with the second half. Add the reserved 1 tablespoon lemon juice and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes and toss with the kitchen tongs to combine.
- Transfer the broccolini to a platter along with the reserved browned lemon slices. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, and the reserved toasted pine nuts. This dish is lovely served warm, but I also enjoy it chilled as well.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 172
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 507 mg
- Fat: 14 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Carbohydrates: 9 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Cholesterol: 14 mg
Keywords: broccolini, lemon, brown butter, red pepper flakes, Parmigiano Reggiano