There's something really good about the caramelizing effect that grilling has on veggies, and grilled broccolini is no exception. Seasoned with olive oil and garlic, it's an easy side dish that you can make in 10 minutes.
The more I grill vegetables, the more I realize how much I love them cooked this way. Some of my favorite side dishes are grilled zucchini, grilled eggplant, grilled okra, and grilled portobello mushrooms.
Not that there's anything wrong with steamed veggies, especially when topped with a little butter. I really enjoy steamed carrots, for example. But there's something incredibly good about the browning effect that grilling has. And grilled broccolini is indeed excellent.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh broccolini: You'll need one large bunch for this recipe.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead, though it won't be as tasty.
To season: I like to use kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. I actually prefer garlic powder to minced fresh garlic in this recipe. I feel that the powder better coats the vegetables. It also doesn't burn as easily as fresh garlic.
How to grill broccolini? It's easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to preheat your grill to medium-high. You don't want it too hot, because then the vegetables will burn before they have a chance to become tender.
Meanwhile, place the broccolini on a large platter. Drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Toss with your hands until it's well-coated.
Grill the broccolini, turning it often, until the stalks are tender-crisp and the tops are browned and caramelized. How long you'll need to grill depends on the thickness of the stems. For thicker ones, it should take about 8 minutes. For thinner ones like the ones shown here, 3-4 minutes are all it takes.
You can top the cooked broccolini with red pepper flakes and/or some shaved parmesan before serving.
Variations and substitutions
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- As mentioned above, you can use avocado oil instead of olive oil. I do much prefer olive oil since it has so much more flavor.
- Another option is to coat the broccolini with melted butter.
- In addition to garlic powder, I sometimes add a sprinkle of onion powder. I don't usually use dried herbs, as they tend to burn on the hot grill.
Suggested main courses
Grilled broccolini makes an excellent side dish to any main course you can think of. It goes well with chicken, beef, and fish. You can also serve it with fried eggs for a tasty meatless meal, and you can top it with hollandaise sauce.
But since I use the grill to make this recipe, I like to serve it with something that I can make on the same grill. So I often serve this tasty side dish with grilled skirt steak, with grilled shrimp, or with grilled chicken breast.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave on 50% power.
But I actually like to eat them cold, as one would eat antipasto! They're really good when served this way. Seriously! Give it a try and you'll see.
Frequently asked questions
Broccolini is a hybrid between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It is milder and sweeter than broccoli. Broccoli has a certain bitterness that broccolini lacks. happily, this means that my kids love it, even The Picky Eater! 😮 So I tend to make it quite often.
When grilling vegetables, I almost always use my George Foreman grill. It's convenient and versatile. If you prefer, you can use a grill pan or an outdoor grill.
The instructions are similar. Except that with the dual-contact George Foreman grill you don't need to keep turning the vegetables. Also, grilling time is usually a bit shorter.
The entire vegetable is edible. You can eat the stems, the florets, and the leaves. Although for thicker-stem broccolini, you might want to trim off the very bottom of the stems if they're tough.
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Grilled Broccolini with Olive Oil and Garlic
- 1 bunch broccolini (8 oz)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Heat a dual-contact grill such as George Foreman, a grill pan, or an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, on a large platter, drizzle the broccolini with olive oil and sprinkle it with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Use your hands to toss everything together until the broccolini is well-coated.
- Grill the broccolini, turning it often, until the stalks are tender-crisp and the tops are browned and caramelized. How long you'll need to grill depends on the thickness of the stems. For thicker ones, it should take about 8 minutes. For thinner ones like the ones shown here, 3-4 minutes are all it takes.
- You can top the cooked broccolini with red pepper flakes and/or some shaved parmesan before serving.