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Broccolini with Anchovies and Garlic

My Nonno (grandfather) was a fisherman, so anchovies were a daily staple when I was growing up in Naples. He preserved them in salt and my Nonna (grandmother) preserved them in oil. Needless to say, anchovies were in a lot of the dishes I ate as a child. In this recipe, the anchovies just melt away in the garlic and oil. If I didn't tell you they were in there, you probably wouldn't guess--but it makes the broccolini so delicious! This is really how my Nonna serves many vegetables (not just broccolini)-- sauteed with the incredible rich flavor that comes from anchovies.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Kosher salt

1 1/2 pounds broccolini, washed and trimmed 

3 tablespoons olive oil 

2 cloves garlic, sliced 

4 anchovy fillets, preferably Italian anchovies packed in oil

A good pinch of hot pepper flakes 

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water up to a boil, add the broccolini and cook for about 2 minutes; drain well and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, add the oil, garlic, anchovies and hot pepper flakes. Turn the heat to medium and allow everything to sizzle together until the garlic is lightly golden brown and the anchovies have melted, a few minutes.
  3. Add the partially-cooked broccolini and toss well in the flavorful oil. Allow everything to cook together until the broccolini has wilted quite a bit but still retains a bit of crunch, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Note

If you can't find broccoliini, substitute broccoli or broccoli rabe. And really, any other vegetable could work too -- green beans, cauliflower, you name it. So good.