Friday, January 21, 2011

Balsamic Broccolini with Golden Raisins aka I miss BARcelona

You may not think of St. Louis as a mecca of culinary talent, filled with outstanding little restaurants that are worthy of bigger cities at smaller prices.  You, however, should pay a visit.  I spent my four years of college eating my way through those little restaurants and thoroughly enjoying it.  One of my go-tos and a favorite of all my friends as well was BARcelona, a tapas restaurant in Clayton.  Everything on the menu was delicious, but my favorite veggie option was the broccolini.  Sweet with a little balsamic vinegar and sun-dried tomatoes and covered in sliced garlic.  I could easily eat two or three orders of it!

MMM I miss it!
So, bored of studying one night during finals, I tried to recreate it with some variations and I think you'll like making this as an easy side dish.
What you'll need:
broccolini (cheap at trader joes!)
lemon juice
balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar
garlic (sliced thinly)
golden raisins (although sundried tomatoes would be great as well)

Put the washed broccolini in a large pan

Add lemon juice, water and a touch of balsamic vinegar and let the broccolini steam until tender.  You can hurry this up by putting a cover on the pan.  I didn't have a cover though and it worked out fine.

While these are steaming, put the golden raisins in a bowl of warm water to plump them up.  If you're using sun-dried tomatoes, you can skip that step.

If you don't have balsamic glaze on hand (about 10 dollars in a whole foods or specialty food store and it'll last you over a year) then put some balsamic vinegar in a pot and it reduce until sweet and a bit sticky.

When the broccolini are slightly tender but still crunchy, throw the raisins in and let them heat up.  
Take it all off the stove and drizzle it with balsamic glaze.
SO SO SO good!

This was absolutely delicious on its own, but if you want to spice it up, add some pine nuts.

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