THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
Also visit our main website,

RECIPE: Eat Your Greens…Like Broccolini

Sauteed Broccolini
[1] Sautéed broccolini with lemon and garlic (photo courtesy eMeals).

[2] Uncooked broccolini (photo courtesy Bodecology).

Broccolini & Branzino
[3] For presentation, set the protein atop the cooked broccolini. Here, roast branzino with caper vinaigrette from Chef David Burke.


Not into green beer and green bagels?

A healthy green food for a St. Patrick’s Day meal is this Sautéed Lemon-Garlic Broccolini from eMeals, a recipe subscription service with 25 different meal plans for every diet (there’s a 14-day free trial).

Set a piece of your favorite protein on top or to the side: a fish fillet, sliced steak or chicken, shrimp or other favorite.
RECIPE: Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound broccolini, ends trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional: red chile flakes or minced jalapeño

    1. HEAT the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccolini, garlic and red pepper flakes; sauté 4 minutes.

    2. ADD the broth. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook 6 minutes or until tender.

    3. STIR in the lemon rind, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the chile and serve.

    Broccolini is not a young growth of broccoli, although it looks like small broccoli florets atop long, slender stems.

    Rather, broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and gai-lan (kai-lan), a Chinese chard, both cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea, the powerful cruciferous vegetable family.

    Broccolini is not a young form of either broccoli or broccoli rabe: it is a hybrid.

    It can be eaten cooked or raw, and is sweeter than broccoli florets.

    Though much more expensive than broccoli, there is little waste. The stems don’t even need to be trimmed.
    The History Of Broccolini

    In the late 1980s, breeders at Japan’s Sakata Seed company crossed broccoli and gai-lan and named the new vegetable asparation. Sakata partnered with a Mexican grower, and then with Mann Packing in California, to grow asparation. Mann gave it a more consumer-friendly name: broccolini.

    To add some confusion, broccolini was given different names to appear at retail, including brocolette, brocoletti and sweet baby broccoli. If you’re facing down these names, just remember: tall, slender stems + few or no leaves = broccolini.

    Broccoli rabe, with which broccolini is often confused, has a profusion of leaves at the top.

    Here’s how to end the confusion between…

    Broccolini, Broccoli & Broccoli Rabe

  • Broccoli is a member of the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables, which includes bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens and turnips, among other veggies. It has thick stalks and large, dense florets. It grows with large outer leaves, which are usually stripped away prior to hitting store shelves. However, they are edible and delicious.
  • Broccolini, which has long, slender stalks and small, less dense florettes, is hybrid developed in California by crossing conventional broccoli with Chinese kale. Unlike broccoli and broccoli rabe, it doesn not have leaves.
  • Broccoli rabe or rapini (pronounced robb and sometimes spelled raab) is popular in Southern Italy, where it is often served with pasta or polenta. It looks like a very leafy broccolini but is actually a member of the turnip genus. It is more bitter than broccoli and broccolini.

    Like broccoli and broccoli rabe, broccolini is low in calories: about 35 calories for six stems. It is a good source of calcium, folate, iron, potassium and vitamins A and C (100% DV).

    Treat broccolini as you would broccoli, broccoli raab or asparagus:

  • Crudités
  • Pasta primavera
  • Sautéed or steamed with a squeeze of lemon juice (alone or in a medley with asparagus, mushrooms and/or other vegetables)
  • Stir-fries
    If you want a sauce, Asian sauces like soy-ginger-sesame or ponzu, work well, as does a light mustard sauce or vinaigrette.

    For a garnish, your favorites work nicely: crumbled bacon, pine nuts, seasoned breadcrumbs, etc.



    FOOD FUN: Green Eggs For St. Patrick’s Day

    Who says only the Easter Bunny brings colored eggs?

    The St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun (i.e., you) can also bring them.

    We loved these designs from Terra’s Kitchen, a healthy meal delivery service.

    You can make them for the family, or get everyone involved in designing.

    Here’s how to make fancy colored eggs.


    Green Easter Eggs

    Make green hard-boiled eggs for St. Patrick’s Day (photo courtesy Terra Kitchen) | Facebook.




    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Beer Jellies From Potlicker Kitchen

    Potlicker Beer Jelly
    [1] Four of the 10 flavors of beer jelly (all photos courtesy Potlicker Kitchen).

    Potlicker Pumpkin Ale Beer Jelly
    [2] Seasonal flavors are also produced.

    Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
    [3] Cook and bake to your heart’s content. How about peanut butter and jelly cups with beer jelly?

    Beer Jelly & Steak
    [4] Beer jelly is a delicious glaze for proteins, and makes an easy sauce.


    For a few years at the big annual specialty food trade show, we’ve been enchanted by a line of artisan jellies from Potlicker Kitchen in Stowe, Vermont.

    So why haven’t written about them?

    We were overwhelmed, because the beer an wine jellies deserve a special focus, as do the fruit jellies and jams.

    So today, we take the first step: recommendation of the beer, with the fruit and wine jellies to come in a separate article.

    Potlicker started as a food blog that focused on canning. The recipes, and the acclaim they received from friends and family, evolved into a small business.

    Says Nancy Warner, the jelly maestro: “The canning pot never left the stove and I turned everything I could pick, purchase, and grow into preserves.

    “One very long winter and a late night of canning, I ran out of fruit to turn into jam. I turned to my fridge and cabinets, which may have been void of fruit but were reasonably well stocked with beer, wine, and booze. I knew of wine jelly and quickly whipped up some Rosemary Garlic Chablis wine jelly, after adapting a recipe from the Ball Blue Book.

    “Totally thrilled with the result, I immediately knew I needed to make a beer jelly. I had never heard of beer jelly. As a craft beer lover, it was important to me to make an unadulterated beer jelly that actually looks and tastes like beer, not spices or apples.”

    She succeeded!

    “Eventually…I packed up my canning and a bit of baking and went to market. People loved the [jelly] flavors I made, but the beer jelly really stole the show. It was the first thing to sell out and I thought “Maybe I’m onto something.” So I just followed the path as it opened in front of me.”

    We’re so glad that she did.

    The beer jellies are made with Vermont craft beers.

    What does beer jelly taste like? It tastes like the beer it’s made with, which is why you need to use great beers.

    India Pale Ale Jelly has the distinct flavor profile of an IPA; a Pumpkin Ale Jelly will


    When you get your first jar, you’ll want to dip into it with a spoon—and that’s just fine. But, use it any way you would use jelly or preserves.

    In addition to your own creations, here are suggestions and recipes:
    As A Condiment

  • Beer Jelly Vinaigrette
  • In yogurt
  • On a cheese platter
  • On a sandwich (cheese, ham, turkey, PB&J)
  • On toast
    Mains & Sides

  • Beer Jelly Caramelized Onions
  • Beer Jelly Baked Salmon
  • Beer Jelly Glazed Chicken Wings
  • Beer Jelly Glazed Ham
  • Beer Jelly Short Ribs
  • Porter Glazed Beets
    As A Sweet

  • Beer Jelly Caramel Corn
  • Beer Jelly Cupcakes With Beer Jelly Filling
  • PB & J Muffins
  • Porter Swirled Pecan Blondies
  • Sorbet Or Ice Cream Topping

    Current flavors include:

  • Apricot Ale Beer Jelly
  • Black India Pale Ale Beer Jelly
  • Gluten Free Beer Jelly
  • Hard Apple Cider Jelly
  • Heady Jelly (made from the Alchemist Brewery’s Heady Topper, a double IPA)
  • Hefeweizen with Orange Beer Jelly
  • India Pale Ale Beer Jelly
  • Oatmeal Stout Beer Jelly
  • Porter Beer Jelly
  • Pumpkin Ale Beer Jelly (seasonal but currently in stock)
    Most jars are $8 for eight ounces. You can also buy 3-packs, 6-packs and 12-packs.

    In fact, with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming up, we recommend it!

    And plan ahead for the holidays, for your beer-loving friends.

    Head to

    Follow the blog for great recipes.



    RECIPE: Key Lime Pie & Pie Day, 3.14

    Today, 3/14*, has been named Pi Day: 3.14. As you learned in high school geometry, the Greek symbol is used in mathematics to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, a constant which begins with 3.14159.

    Pi Day was founded by physicist Larry Shaw in 1988; a non-binding resolution acknowledging it was passed by the United States House of Representatives In 2009.

    Pi day started as an event at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist.

    On that first day, both staff and public marched around one of its circular spaces, and then at fruit pie. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations, and the tradition expanded across countries that use the month-day format*—because who doesn’t want an excuse to eat pie?

    (If you don’t like sweet pie, have a pizza pie.)

    Some bakers make a pastry cut-out of the pi symbol to decorate the top crust. This ambitious baker not only did that, but added cut-outs of the first 31 digits of pi to the rim of the pi.

    Here’s more about Pi Day.

    Today we present a Key Lime Pie by Audra, The Baker Chick. Key limes are a sweeter, less acidic lime from the Florida Keys. They are also grown in Mexico, so are also called Mexican limes.

    Audra adds two touches that create a more complex recipe. First, she uses salted butter instead of sweet in the crust, contributing to the salty-sweet pairing that has become so popular.

    Next, she adds some sour cream to the filling, adding more dimension than the provided by the sweetened condensed milk alone. We love Audra’s recipes!

    This is a quick recipe to make: just 25 minutes until it emerges from the oven. Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 15 minutes.

    Ingredients For 1 Nine-Inch Pie

    For The Crust

  • 11 whole graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • Pinch of sea salt
    For The Filling

  • 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup Key lime juice†
    For The Topping

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Optional garnish: lime zest

    Key Lime Pie
    [1] Key Lime Pie (photo courtesy The Baker Chick).

    Key Limes
    [2] Key limes are round. They can be either green or yellow-green (photo below). The more yellow, the more time they have spent ripening on the tree (photo courtesy Melissa’s).

    Key Lime Vs Persian Lime
    [3] A comparison of the larger Tahitian Or Persian limes, the conventional supermarket lime, and the Key or Mexican limes (photo THE NIBBLE).


    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

    2. COMBINE the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and the pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Mix together with a spoon and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Bake the crust for 5-7 minutes or until toasty around the edges.

    3. MAKE the filling. Mix together the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream and lime juice. Pour into pie crust and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until little bubbles form on the surface of the pie and start to pop. Don’t let the pie get brown!

    4. REMOVE from the oven, cool, and then allow the pie to chill for a few hours or overnight. When ready to serve…

    5. BEAT heavy cream and powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Spoon over the pie and garnish with the lime zest.




    *Many countries use the day-month format instead, i.e., today would be 14/3 instead of 3/14. March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.

    †If you can’t find Key limes, use regular limes. Some people use bottled lime juice, but that’s the difference between fresh-squeezed and bottled orange juice. Key limes are less acidic, but that isn’t a huge factor in the outcome.



    RECIPE: March Madness Chili, A DIY Food Bar

    Beef & Bean Chili
    [1] Beef and bean chili with shredded cheddar and scallions (photo courtesy Pre Brands).

    Bowl Of Chili
    [2] Bean chili with fout garnishes (photo courtesy Hope Hummus).


    You may have your brackets set, but how about your chili toppings?

    Hormel created these tongue-in-cheek brackets of toppings to serve with their chili. So while watching the games, how about a DIY chili bar?

    In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Avocado, diced
  • Bacon
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Cilantro
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • Cornbread
  • Corn chips
  • Corn kernels
  • Jalapeños, sliced
  • Olives, sliced
  • Onions or scallions, sliced
  • Oyster crackers
  • Potato tots
  • Radishes, sliced
  • Red bell pepper, strips or diced
  • Sour cream
    Have we left out any of your favorite ingredients? Let us know.
    Now, all you need are bowls that can hold a portion of chili plus a lot of fixings.

    Hormel Chili Toppings

    Chart by Hormel.



    © Copyright 2005-2018 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.