Friday, November 20, 2009

Sauteed Leeks and Broccolini with Balsamic Vinegar

This is the first time I've ever cooked with broccolini - a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli (kai-lan); you can identify it by its long slender stalks. Make sure you don't buy broccoli rabe, which is something else altogether! (See below for a photo of the broccolini before cooking).

Trim the ends off of one pound of broccolini, then cut the pieces in half again crosswise (I actually didn't do the latter, so if my broccolini pieces look especially long in the final dish, that's why). Cut 2 leeks in half lengthwise, and then cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces. Set aside.

Cook 4 pieces of vegan bacon (such as Lightlife) in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp - about 5 minutes, which is a little longer than package directions specify. Make sure to coat the skillet with cooking spray since, unlike real bacon, the vegan version won't yield its own cooking fat. Remove from the skillet, crumble, and set aside.

Add the broccolini and the leeks to the skillet; saute 4 minutes.

Add 1/4 tsp. dried oregano, 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper, and 4 thinly-sliced garlic cloves; continue to saute for 3 minutes.

Stir in 1/4 cup vegetable broth, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1/4 tsp. salt; cook just until the liquid evaporates, about 30 seconds. I was sure I had leftover broth in the house, but did not, so I used 1/4 cup water instead.

Sprinkle the mixture with the crumbled 'bacon', then divide into 8 side servings of 3/4 cup and 90 calories each. This is at its best if served immediately.

vegan bacon $3.39
broccolini $5.98
leek $1.43

The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance