Get ready for an explosion of flavor with this Charred Broccolini with Garlic and Quinoa. This simple side dish is so easy to throw together in just 20 minutes, and packed with healthy plant-based protein.
To prepare the broccolini, cut the bottom 1/3 from each broccolini stem. If the stems are still too thick for your liking, cut in half lengthwise. Trim off excess leaves if desired.
In a medium pot, add quinoa and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until the moisture is absorbed. Remove cover and set the pot aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large dry skillet over medium heat, add the pine nuts. Heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until starting to brown and smell nutty (be careful not to burn). Remove from heat immediately and transfer to the pot of cooked quinoa.
Return the empty skillet to the stove and add the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the broccolini and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Swirl to coat with the oil and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then add the minced garlic and cook 2-3 more minutes, stirring frequently until the broccolini is just starting to char (turn brown) and the garlic is also starting to brown in the pan. Remove from heat. Drizzle broccolini with remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and stir.
To the cooked quinoa, add the nutritional yeast, black pepper, toasted pine nuts, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir to combine.
To serve, add 1 cup quinoa to a plate and layer with a few pieces of the broccolini. This dish is best served immediately. Store in the fridge in an airtight container (can store quinoa and broccolini together for 1-2 days).
This recipe makes about 4 cups quinoa + broccolini.
Tips for buying and preparing broccolini:
Most stores will sell broccolini year round, and they are usually packaged in containers for 2-4 servings. You will most likely find them in the produce section of your supermarket, Trader Joe’s, Fresh Thyme, Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc.
Look for dark green florets with fresh stems (not dried out of discolored).
Before cooking, it’s best to trim the broccolini a bit, generally by cutting off the bottom 1/3 of the stem. Remove extra leaves if you want, but note that the entire vegetable is edible (and tasty!).
It’s also recommended, for larger stems, to cut them in half lengthwise before cooking. This helps to ensure even cooking throughout.