Paris-Nice, two of the loveliest cities in France, évidemment; also, also (!), the first big race of the cycling season! I know , you don’t have to tell me, I’m a weirdo. There aren’t all that many Americans (though I know a few!) who are quite as addicted to this sport as I am. I’ll try not to bore you with too many details, but Paris-Nice is sometimes called a “mini Tour de France” and it’s armchair traveling at its best. This week anyways, I’m glued to this particular armchair listening to the soothing voices of Bob Roll and Paul Sherwin, gazing at the beautiful French countryside and dreaming of my upcoming trip to France. I find it relaxing, almost hypnotic. But that’s just me.
Another benefit of watching cycling is that it’s good for multi-tasking; in other words, a perfect opportunity to knock off a quick blog entry. Spring must be on its way because I am craving GREEN! Could be the overindulgence of last week in New Orleans, but I’d like to think my cravings are telling me that spring is on the way (oops…I think I just said that!). The January issue of Bon Appétit is truly the issue that keeps on giving. I’ve made several interesting meals from it (February issue, not a single one), including this green soup that I posted after the New Year, and a very easy and simply delicious Beans and Rice with Rotisserie Chicken and Green Apple Salsa. I’ll have to get back to that one and share soon. Last Friday, however, I simply needed a side dish to go with some roast beef that I had frozen earlier in the winter. The Asian flavors in this Broccolini recipe fit the bill for jazzing up a Friday frozen dinner and was absolument parfaît with the beef. It would also be quite nice with fish, its tangy dressing serving as a marinade. Either way it’s going to be a regular in my side dish rotation.
Adapted from Bon Appétit, January 2012.
- 2 bunches (1 lb.) broccolini
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 2 Tbsp. chopped toasted peanuts
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare the broccolini by slicing off a bit of the end and slicing them lengthwise down the middle. Careful, this is the hardest part of the recipe, only because it’s a tad tedious. Skip it if your stalks are quite thin. Boil until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
2. Plunge the broccolini into a bath of ice water or run under a very cold faucet until no longer warm. This is how they stay bright green. Drain and dry.
3. While the broccolini are drying prepare the dressing. Toast the sesame seeds either in a toaster oven at 400° or in a dry pan on the stove top over medium heat until brown (about 4 minutes). Do the same with the peanuts (I did this step while my water was coming to a boil.) Add the sesame seeds to the oils, crushed red pepper, ground pepper and vinegar and whisk. Add the garlic.
4. Pour over cooled broccolini and top with the roasted peanuts. Serve room temperature or reheat broccolini on stove top just before adding the dressing.