Sweet baby broccoli is the love child of broccoli and Chinese kale. It features long, thin stalks and small floret clusters that may sometimes contain an edible yellow flower or two. Baby broccoli has a sweet flavor and none of the bitterness found in kale and regular broccoli. The tender stalks cook through in no time, so quick-cooking methods are preferred so they don't become overcooked and chewy. Steaming or sautéing provide just enough heat to cook the vegetable to tender-crisp perfection.
Wash the baby broccoli in cool water. Trim off the tough end of each stalk, but leave the stalks whole. Unlike regular broccoli, baby broccoli has tender, delicate stems.
Fill a pot with 2 to 3 inches of water. Set a steamer basket on top so the basket sits above the water inside. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
Lay the baby broccoli in the steamer basket and place the lid on top. Steam the baby broccoli for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the stalks and florets brighten in color and become tender. Serve warm.
Into the Frying Pan
Wash and trim the stalks. Leave them whole or chop them into 2- to 3-inch lengths, as desired.
Add about 1 tablespoon of oil to a sauté pan. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it sizzles.
Add the baby broccoli to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it becomes tender and bright green. Stir or toss the broccoli constantly so all sides cook evenly without overcooking. Serve warm.
- Season sweet baby broccoli simply with a touch of butter and salt and pepper for taste. Garlic, carmelized onions and red pepper flakes also complement the delicate broccoli flavor.