Marinated Broccolini with Teeny Weeny Bocconcini

SERVES: Serves 4 (as a side)

This bright, cold, spicy, side dish is the perfect picnic companion. Serve it alongside your favorite sandwich, as an accompaniment to rotisserie chicken, or in tandem with some cold sliced steak. It gets better with time and is infinitely riffable according to what's in season.

Active Time: 20 Mins

Total Time: 20 mins

Screenshot 2024-05-10 at 1.28.03 PM

Produce

  • 1 medium shallot
  • 10 ounces broccolini (1 large or 2 small bunches)
  • 2 big handfuls mint

Pantry

  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup walnuts, almonds, or pine nuts
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons oil-packed chopped Calabrian chilies
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Dairy

  • 5 ounces tiny mozzarella bocconcini (or a 5-ounce ball of mozzarella)

1. Do some prep:

  • Set a medium pot of water to boil. Add a few really big handfuls of salt. If your nuts aren’t already toasted, give them a toast in the oven (at 350 for 8-12 minutes depending on what kind you are using.)
  • Peel and thinly slice 1 shallot.
  • Coarsely chop ¼ cup golden raisins. Combine the shallot and raisins in a medium bowl.

2. Quick-pickle the shallots and raisins:

  • In a small saucepan, heat ⅓ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tsp honey and 2 big pinches salt. Once barely simmering, pour the vinegar over the shallot and raisins and stir and scrunch to submerge. Let cool to room temp while you proceed with the broccolini.

3. Blanch the brococlini:

  • Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  • Once the water is boiling, add 10 ounces broccolini to the pot, cook until tender and juicy, and no longer fibrous, about 2-4 minutes depending on how soft you like your veg (taste along the way and see!) Once cooked to your liking, transfer the broccolini to the ice bath to cool.

4. Finish:

  • Now that the shallots are cool, stir in 2 tablespoons chopped Calabrian chilies in oil, and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.
  • If using bocconcini, add them straight to the marinade and toss well to coat. If using a mozzarella ball tear 5 ounces or so into bite-sized pieces and add them to the bowl.
  • Drain and pat dry the broccoli so that no water remains. Toss the broccolini with the marinated mozz (you may need a bigger bowl), Season everything well with salt.
  • Just before serving, finely chop 2 big handfuls of mint leaves and whichever nuts you are using and toss them through the broccolini. Serve cold or room temp. This gets better with time so feel free to throw it in the fridge.

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