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Warm Broccolini Salad

A few weeks ago I had a lovely walk and picnic lunch with my friend Amy. The heart of that lunch was a simple sauteed broccolini that she made. It was so good it’s been haunting me ever since.

Two weekends ago I did some air travel with my kids. We spent three days away from home and while I did my best to find ways for us to eat real food on the trip we still consumed a little bit more junk than I would have liked. I got home feeling greasy and generally gross. And I was longing for vegetables.

So, the next day while menu planning for the week I knew I was going to make vegetable-centric meals and that it was time to revisit that broccolini I’d had with Amy. As perfectly simply and simply perfect as it was I knew if I was going to pass it off as a meal in and of itself I was going to have to jazz it up a bit. I was vegetable deprived enough that I just kept imagining beautiful piles of green vegetables along side it and I had a bag of Frenched green beans in the fridge just begging to be added into the mix.

I threw in some asparagus (mostly because I like things in threes) and then somehow landed on the idea of adding pancetta, walnuts, and blue cheese. Let’s just say that in my kitchen a star was born. Most people will want to serve this as a side dish, but I have to tell you I ate it as a meal in and of itself… just a big heaping pile on my plate, still warm, but cooling to room temperature as I ate (the temperature change didn’t hurt it in the least).


Warm Broccolini Salad

  • 3 tbsp olive oil – divided
  • 2 oz thin sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 2 bunches broccolini
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 small bag Frenched green beans
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and saute the pancetta while you mince the shallot.
  • Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and then add the shallot into the pan and stir gently to brown the pancetta and shallot.
  • On another burner set to the lowest heat gently toast the walnuts.
  • Turn the heat on the large skillet down to the lowest setting and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the sliced garlic. Allow it to gently saute over the lowest heat so it doesn’t burn.
  • Trim the asparagus and microwave it in a covered glass bowl with 1/4 cup water for 2 1/2 minutes to steam.
  • Remove the asparagus and drain it and remove it to the counter.
  • Steam the green beans in their bag according to the instructions on the bag.
  • Trim the broccolini and steam it in the same covered glass bowl with 1/4 cup of water in the microwave for 4 minutes.
  • Remove the broccolini and drain it and remove it to the counter.
  • When the vegetables are ready add the broccolini to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the asparagus, green beans, and walnuts. Toss to combine and warm through.
  • Plate the veggies and sprinkle the blue cheese on top.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6