18 Nov2005

Broccolini

by Marketman

When Edwin sent me a text that he had broccolini in stock abro1at his Fresh Field stall at Market!Market! Fort Bonifacio, I immediately reserved some and sent someone to go pick it up. One of the small perks of this website is that I have made acquaintances with some terrific vendors, suppliers, etc. who occasionally text me when unusual products come to market… If it’s something I would eat or that I find unusual and feature it on the website, then hopefully they will grow and sell more of it and a new product will be added to our increasing variety of locally available produce. What is broccolini, you ask? A broccoli (Brassica oleracea) hybrid, it is actually about ¾ broccoli and ¼ kai lan or Chinese broccoli. In other words, a mongrel broccoli that tries to get the best attributes of each… crisp yet with a tender stem, more subtle broccoli flavor without the cabbage notes and easy to prepare and cook…

Developed by a Japanese company, this seed was actually abro2named Asparation (sounds like the beginning of a beauty contestant’s answer to the emcee’s question – What is your goal in life Ms. Divisoria… “my asparation in life is to be”…) which thankfully has not stuck and the more descriptive name broccolini was developed by some PR conscious American distributors. The plant is very similar to a broccoli, but when the main floral stem appears, it is cut and the side branches emerge and these are the broccolini… This vegetable is excellent steamed and served with mayonnaise or butter. It is also good stir-fried or mixed into other dishes. At PHP 180 a kilo, it is quite reasonable as it is almost all edible (as opposed to cutting much of the stem on traditional broccoli) Overall, I am just pleased that there is something new in the market and am grateful to provedores such as Edwin who go out of their way to offer something new…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. jaili says:

    Is this the same as broccoli rabe??? broccoli rabe is so bitter that even if i blanch and put some sausages and garlic, it still could not mask the bitter taste…

    Nov 18, 2005 | 12:34 pm

     
  2. Marketman says:

    Jaili, Broccolini is different from Broccoli Raab. The latter is Brassica rapa and also known as rapini in Italy or broccoletti (perhaps the reason for the confusion). I love Broccoli rabe which must be the Italian equivalent of our ampalaya…the bitterness is part of its attraction. It looks a little different from Broccolini in that it it is served with some of the leaves that add to the bitterness. Broccoli Rabe is apparently more closely related to a turnip (hence the smell) than to broccoli…

    Nov 18, 2005 | 12:52 pm

     
  3. gonzo says:

    I’m still looking for decent fresh tomatoes. Any suggestions, MM?

    Nov 18, 2005 | 8:33 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    For large salad type tomatoes, there is no choice but to get the hothouse tomatoes… but here’s the trick to get the most out of them. Never ever put them in a fridge. If you buy them at Pricesmart, Rustans, Shoemart, make sure they never passed the chiller. Never mind that they aren’t fully ripe… just take them home and leave them on the kitchen counter to ripen another 1-3 days. Or put them in a paper bag and leave on top of the fridge as they release gases that encourage ripening. When they appear fully red and ripe, this is the best they can get for hothouse tomatoes. Never put a tomato in the fridge, that is the death of them. As for plum tomatoes, for some reason we don’t seem to be able to grow them… as for grape tomatoes, I have found pretty good ones here and have earlier posts on these. Gonzo, when you have time, check out the archives, there are over 340 posts so far in the past 11 months or so… you might be interested in a recent post on sugar cane for example where two readers weighed in with such wonderful insights on a seemingly plain item…

    Nov 18, 2005 | 9:28 pm

     
  5. karen says:

    They look so cute! Hehehe. Kinda like asparagus with a blossom on top…

    Nov 19, 2005 | 9:29 pm

     
  6. ana says:

    Hello Mr. Marketman! I’ve been reading your blogs for quite a while now and I certainly enjoy it. I appreciate your info re: where to buy stuff like this brocollini. I even went to Market! Market! last Sunday but wasn’t able to locate the stall you mentioned. It’s just too crowded there that it makes me dizzy. I also wasn’t able to go to the Gaisano supermarket where you mentioned in a previous post is the place for hard to find items. Oh well, next time maybe…
    Thank you and keep it up!

    Nov 22, 2005 | 1:21 pm

     
  7. Marketman says:

    Ana, The Fresh Field stall is on the main walkway towards the main entrance of the mall. It has a chiller or refrigerated case in front. They also carry lots of lettuce in pre-packed bags. Best to go during the week rather than the weekend. If you search my archives for Fresh Field it tells you more about the vendor… Hope you find it next time!

    Nov 22, 2005 | 4:16 pm

     
 

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