Tenderstem broccoli is a nutritious and easy vegetable side dish that’s perfect alongside almost any meal. In this post, you’ll learn how to cook tenderstem broccoli using five delicious cooking methods, including steaming, sautéeing, air frying, roasting, and grilling.
I’ll also share tips for selecting and preparing tenderstem broccoli and dive into its many health benefits.
So, if you’re looking for a healthy and easy side dish everyone will enjoy, you’re in the right place!
- What is Tenderstem Broccoli
- Buying Tips
- Health Benefits
- 5 Ways to Cook Tenderstem Broccoli
- Steamed Tenderstem Broccoli with Satay Sauce
- Pan-Fried Tenderstem Broccoli with Crispy Red Onions
- Grilled Tenderstem Broccoli with Tahini Dressing
- Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic
- Easy Air Fryer Tenderstem Broccoli
What is Tenderstem Broccoli
Tenderstem broccoli, also known as broccolini or long-stem broccoli, is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli, also known as Chinese kale or kai-lan. It was developed in Japan in the early 1990s, and the name Tenderstem was trademarked by the Sakata Seed Corporation in 2002.
You can look at it like this. All Tenderstem broccoli is broccolini, but not all broccolini is Tenderstem.
Tenderstem broccoli is characterized by its long, thin stalks and small, broccoli-like florets. The stalks are tender and edible, unlike the thick, woody stalks of regular broccoli. It also has a milder, sweeter, and more delicate flavor than regular broccoli.
- Look for vibrant green stalks and florets. Avoid any that are yellowing or wilted.
- Avoid heads with thick, woody stalks. These will be tough and unpleasant to eat.
- Farm-fresh vs. supermarket Tenderstem broccoli. If you have the option, buying farm-fresh Tenderstem broccoli is always best. Farm-fresh produce is typically picked at its peak ripeness and has not been subjected to the same transportation and storage conditions as supermarket produce. I find that when you get it home, it stays fresh for much longer.
- Choose organic Tenderstem broccoli whenever possible. Organic Tenderstem broccoli is a great option as it is grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, but it’s not essential. Conventional broccolini can also be a good choice, as long as it is fresh and high quality. I always like to think of it like this – some broccoli is better than no broccoli!
- Look for Tenderstem broccoli that is sold loose rather than in pre-packaged bags. This will allow you to view the heads more closely and choose the freshest ones.
- Store Tenderstem broccoli in the refrigerator in a loosely sealed bag. It will keep for up to 5 days.
Tenderstem broccoli is a healthy and nutritious vegetable that offers a variety of health benefits. Here are just a few.
1. High fiber content
Tenderstem broccoli is a good source of fiber, which aids digestion and supports a healthy gut microbiome. Its high fiber and low-calorie content make it a filling food that may help to control weight and promote a healthy metabolism.
2. Rich in vitamins and minerals
Tenderstem broccoli is a good source of:
- Vitamin A – to support vision and the immune system.
- Vitamin C – boosts collagen production and helps the body absorb iron.
- Vitamin K – part of a group of vitamins needed for blood clotting.
- Potassium – helps regulate blood pressure.
- Magnesium – for muscle function, nerve function, and blood sugar regulation.
3. Good source of plant compounds
Tenderstem broccoli contains a variety of plant compounds that have disease-fighting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. May boost heart health
Broccoli’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and fiber-rich properties support heart health, a combination that may help lower cholesterol levels and maintain healthy blood pressure. [Source]
Prepping your Tenderstem broccoli is an absolute breeze. Regardless of your chosen cooking method it only takes a couple of minutes. Here’s how:
Cleaning: Start by giving the Tenderstem Broccoli a good rinse under running cold water to remove any dirt or residue. Gently shake off the excess water.
Trimming: Trim off the tough woody ends. If you have any larger stems, take a sharp knife and slice them down the length of the stem to ensure even cooking.
Storage: You can store fresh raw Tenderstem broccoli in the refrigerator crisper drawer for up to one week. As you can eat all varieties of broccoli or broccolini raw, take advantage and treat yourself to a broccolini snack. They make fantastic crudités for my creamy whipped feta dip.
Leftover Cooked Broccoli: If you have leftover cooked Tenderstem broccoli, cool it down to room temperature and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or two. While it may lose a bit of crispness, it’s still perfect for tossing into casseroles, stews, frittatas, or salads.
Store-Bought Convenience: If you’re short on time, many grocery stores offer pre-cut and pre-packaged fresh broccolini. Check the package instructions to see if they need an additional wash.
5 Ways to Cook Tenderstem Broccoli
Now that your Tenderstem broccoli is prepped and ready, it’s time to cook! Below are 5 new ways you can experiment with this brilliantly versatile ingredient. Detailed instructions for every recipe can be found by clicking the “CONTINUE READING” buttons.