sfBirdie (Sarah)

This is it, don't get scared now.
"When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there". - Jim Henson
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I hate to admit that I have something in common with George Bush Sr. but actual broccoli is not my favorite vegetable in the world.  However I love broccoli rabe (or broccoli di rape as Laurie Colwin calls it) and Chinese broccoli, which made me curious about the “broccolini” that I’ve been seeing lately in various markets.  I have also seen it labeled “asparation,” which at first I thought was a clever vegetable marketing ploy: “For when you can’t quite afford asparagus, asparation!”  Turns out, according the internet, that this vegetable is “a naturally occurring hybrid of broccoli and Gai Lan also known as Chinese flowering green kale.”   It has a mild flavor, like Chinese broccoli without any bitterness.  I have put it in soups and prepared it the way Italians do broccoli rabe (blanched and then sauteed in olive oil with lots of garlic and sprinkled with parmesan, as above), but it is also good friends with ginger and sesame oil and soy sauce, et cetera. 

I LOVE BROCCOLINI. No really, I do. I also used to be proud of hating broccoli when I was younger because the president (at the time, George Sr.) hated it too. Granted, I was the young and impressionable daughter of two pretty republican (not Sarah Palin-republican, the republicans from back in the day) parents. I’m actually still fond of my memories of pushing away the plate and telling my mom (the extroverted and slightly demanding 4-year old that I was), “No, I don’t like broccoli. Our president doesn’t like it so why would I?” And yes, I always said it with my arms crossed.