Broccolini is a green vegetable that looks like broccoli but is actually a hybrid of broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) and Gai Lan (Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra). Gai lan is also known as Kai lan, Chinese broccoli, or Chinese Kale). (Washington State University)
Broccolini was originally developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan, and was first produced and marketed in Mexico as Asparation®. The name Broccolini® is a registered trademark of Mann Packing. (Washington State University). Broccolini is sometimes referred to as baby broccoli, but it’s not really a baby broccoli.
Compared to broccoli, it has smaller florets, several, longer and thinner stems, a few small leaves and all parts are edible.
It has no thick median stalk, like Calabrese broccoli and its morphology is much closer to sprouting broccoli.
Taste wise, broccolini is milder and sweeter than broccoli which usually exhibits a slightly bitter taste.
Broccolini is best steamed, stir-fried, sautéed, blanched or boiled. It can also be eaten raw in salads.
Nutrition Facts of Broccolini
122g (about 1 cup, ) cooked broccolini has the following:
Fat: 0.6g (saturated 0.1g, trans, 0)
Carbohydrate: 7.3g (Fibre 3.7g; sugar 1.5g,)
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
Vitamins (RDA): Vitamin A (38%); Vitamin C (105%)
Minerals (RDA): Iron 4% and Calcium (8%)
Also known as ‘baby broccoli’, asparation, asparations, “sweet baby broccoli”, bimi, broccoletti, broccolette “Italian Sprouting broccoli” and Tenderstem. (WIKI)
Grouping of Brassica oleracea cultivars
Cultivars of Brassica oleracea are usually grouped by developmental form into seven major cultivar groups.
- Brassica oleracea, Acephala Group-includes leafy greens like kale, collard greens, Marrow Stem Kale, Palm Tree Kale, Portuguese Kale, Thousand Headed Kale. These cultivars look more like the wild cabbage in appearance.
- Brassica oleracea, Alboglabra Group: includes one variety, Chinese broccoli (kai-lan or Chinese Kale)
- Brassica oleracea Botrytis Group-Cauliflower, Romanesco, broccoli, broccoflower
- Brassica oleracea Capitata group: cabbage
- Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group: Brussels sprouts
- Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group– Kohlrabi (German turnip or turnip cabbage)
- Brassica oleracea Italica Group-broccoli