Roasting is the best way to cook broccolini. It brings out the flavour and you get crunchy golden tips! This Roasted Broccolini recipe is a wonderful side dish eaten plain, but with a simple Tahini Sauce it becomes company-worthy as an impressive side dish OR a vegetarian main.
This broccolini recipe comes to your courtesy of Yotam Ottolenghi – except I found I needed to adjust the salt way down and adjust the sauce quantities to make it drizzle-able (is that a word??).
As I’ve said before – in fact, very recently, when I shared how I roast carrots to make them golden – roasting is the best way to add flavour to vegetables. And broccolini is no exception!
Tossed with a bit of oil, salt, pepper and garlic if you so choose, roasted until just tender, you will happily eat it plain.
But when you add a creamy nutty tahini sauce, it takes it from tasty to OMG how is such a simple dish so good, and WHY can’t I stop eating it?? (True story, that was my reaction – over a vegetable!)
I love how quick broccolini is to prepare – much faster and less messy than cutting the florets off normal broccoli!
What you need to make this
Here’s what you need to make this broccolini recipe:
- roasting: broccolini, garlic, olive oil
- tahini sauce: tahini, honey, lemon, garlic
- Broccolini – technically a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli Gai Lan but easier to just think of it as baby broccoli which is actually the other name broccolini. Longer stem, slightly sweeter and more tender. Anything you make with broccoli, you can make with broccolini – here are all my broccoli recipes;
- Tahini – made from sesame, it’s creamy and rich with a nutty flavour. Most commonly used in hummus, vegans are a big fan of it because it makes things (especially sauces) creamy without using ingredients like cream that non vegans use. Use HULLED tahini, not unhulled which is more bitter (made from unhulled sesame seeds);
- Honey for sweetening, just a little bit. Feel free to switch with maple syrup or any other sweetener of choice; and
- Almonds is what I use to garnish this, but you can switch it out for pine nuts, pistachios, or any seeds like sunflower seeds, pepitas etc. Just a great way to add interest to this dish.
This is a dish that’s terrific served warm OR at room temperature.
How to make Roasted Broccolini with Tahini Sauce
Very quick and easy:
- Make the sauce first because it needs 15 minutes or so to let the flavour develop;
- Toss broccolini with oil, garlic, salt and pepper;
- Roast it hard and fast in a hot oven 220°C/425°F (200°C fan) to get some colour on the tips without it going soft and soggy inside. Hard and fast is my default roasting technique for all vegetables – because I like to get colour on them without the vegetables turning into mush. Few examples: Eggplant, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms.
- Pile the broccolini on a plate, drizzle over sauce, scatter with nuts of choice. Alternative: Smear most sauce on plate, pile over broccoli then finish with a little drizzle of sauce. This looks a bit neater when people start digging in – it’s a “restauranty” way to plate up.
Above is a photo of what the broccolini looks like straight out of the oven. Notice how:
- the stems are still nice and green (they are cooked through and tender but most definitely not soggy and sad);
- the ends are golden and crisp but still hold their form (ie not wilted and overcooked); and
- the broccolini isn’t flat and soggy, it still has a nice form to it. You want it to sag a bit when you pick it up – if it doesn’t, it means it is still raw – but not flop in a dismal mess (which means it’s overcooked).
How to serve Roasted Broccolini
The Tahini sauce is optional – you can most certainly just roast broccolini and serve it plain as a side dish.
But WITH the sauce, it’s elevated to another level. It can be a company-worthy side dish OR a main.
As a side dish – serve it with all things Middle Eastern / Arabic / Turkish / Persian. Here are some ideas for mains:
As a main as part of a multi-course spread – serve it as part of a multi-course meal of various salads with some warm crusty bread or flatbreads. Here’s a combination of dishes that I served at a lunch a few months ago:
I deliberately chose a variety of different types of salads, and made a conscious decision to make it meat free. I also very deliberately chose dishes that could all be prepared in advance – a high priority, always! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Roasted Broccolini with Tahini Sauce
- 500g/1 lb broccolini , ends trimmed (3 standard bunches in Australia)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 garlic clove , finely minced
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2.5 tbsp water
- 1.5 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 garlic clove , pressed through garlic crusher or grated using microplan (to make sauce smooth)
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup flaked almonds, pine nuts or pistachios , toasted (Note 2)
- Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F (200°C fan).
- Sauce: Mix Tahini Sauce ingredients until combined. It should be loose enough so it can be drizzled, but not too runny. Set aside 15 minutes.
- Toss broccolini: Pile broccolini on tray, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic.
- Roast for 12 - 15 minutes until the broccolini floret ends are dark brown and crunchy (the best part!), and the broccolini stem is just tender. (But if you want it really soft, lower temp to 180C/350F and cook 20 min).
- Plate up: Transfer to serving plate, allow to cool until warm. Drizzle over tahini sauce, sprinkle with almonds or pine nuts and serve! Excellent served warm OR at room temp.
- The Tahini Sauce goes brilliantly with other roasted vegetables too, including: carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans and asparagus.
- Plain roasted broccolini (ie without tahini sauce) - as a side dish for "anything"
With sauce - as an impressive side dish, particularly great with anything Middle Eastern/Arabic/Turkish (like these Koftas)
- As a meal - really great as part of a lunch spread of salad options which is how I've served it multiple times. See in post for ideas for other salads to add to the menu!
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