Baby Broccoli with Hazelnut Butter is a delicious and simple side to dinner. Toasted nuts with browned butter make this dish special enough for the holidays.
Tender green veggies with a toasted butter and hazelnut sauce is so simple to make, but it’s gorgeous on your holiday table. Baby broccoli, or broccolini is in season fall and winter and the flavor is more mild than regular broccoli. It’s a great vegetable side to go with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Holiday Dinner Comes Together
Whether you have a traditional prime rib roast, meatballs, ham, turkey, fish, tamales or goose (hello Tiny Tim) for Christmas dinner, this gorgeous side will be pretty perfect. Or pretty and perfect. Depends on how you like to look at it.
The perfection comes in the special little hazelnuts sizzled in butter that browns into a tasty golden sauce. It’s just fancy enough for a Christmas Eve, day or holiday dinner, but easy enough that you might just want it on a regular Wednesday.
Serve it along with other sides at dinner, I like to load up on vegetable sides like these Roasted Vegetables or Brussels Sprouts. Make sure you have delicious rolls and even sweet potatoes if you like, and you have a complete holiday meal for the family.
What is Baby Broccoli?
Baby broccoli, or Broccolini is dark green with tender long stems and tiny tree tops. If you can’t find it in your market, broccoli rabe is a great substitution. I like the mild flavor of baby broccoli though, so I suggest you ask your grocer to order it!
Broccoli Rabe will have a stronger flavor, but is still delicious with the toasted nuts and butter.
I personally love the stems of regular broccoli, so these lanky gems are my fave. If you’d like to use other nuts, they are equally as delicious with this side dish. Try pecans, even almonds if you’d like.
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup (3 oz) skinned roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 lb baby broccoli trimmed
- ¼ tsp salt
- zest of 1 lemon
For hazelnut butter, in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add nuts and cook until butter begins to brown and nuts just start to turn golden, about 3 min. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In a large nonstick skillet, bring ¾ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and cook, turning occasionally, until just tender, 8 to 10 min. Using tongs, transfer to a platter. Stir together nuts, butter, salt and zest; spoon over broccoli.
Tip: Baby broccoli is dark green with tender long stems and tiny tree tops. If you can’t find it in your market, broccoli rabe is a great substitution. I like the mild flavor of baby broccoli though, so I suggest you ask your grocer to order it!
Recipe by Tara Bench
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal Dec 2007
Photography Quentin Bacon
Food Styling Tara Bench
Prop Styling Bella Foster