Serving you an explosion of umami flavours. This crunchy broccolini salad mixed with earthy mushrooms and caramelised roasted garlic together with a sweet-savoury teriyaki salad dressing is something you need to try now.
Why You’ll Love Our Broccolini Salad with Mushrooms
We are big fans of broccolini in our house. I find it much easier to get my kids to eat broccolini than broccoli. The fresh milder sweet taste and the longer crunchy broccolini stem seem to keep them happy.
As much as you don’t normally think of broccolini in a salad, it works very well. Broccolini is not like other green vegetables where it might wilt when cooked or get mushy when dressed in salad dressing. Broccolini still retains its shape and crunch when cooked.
Combining fresh crunchy broccolini, earthy mushrooms, buttery pine nuts, and pops of chilli with smokey roasted garlic smashed throughout; this Broccolini Salad Asian style takes everyday ingredients to the next level.
You can serve this broccolini and mushroom recipe as a main meal or side dish.
As a vegan main meal, I love it with a bowl of steamed rice or cold soba noodles. For a side dish option, I would pair it with Asian-style mains. It would work well as a side dish for miso glazed salmon, honey soy grilled chicken, or stir fry beef dish.
What is Broccolini?
What you might think is baby broccoli, due to its appearance, broccolini is not. Broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli, gai lan.
You get the florets of broccolini attached to the longer tender stems and leaves like gai lan. The result a milder and somewhat sweeter vegetable that you can eat from head to stalk. They also come in different colours, just like in this rustic purple broccolini salad.
You may also mistake broccolini with broccoli rabe as they are similar in appearance. However, broccoli rabi is more bitter in flavour and belongs to the turnip family versus the broccolini, which belongs to the brassica family, along with cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
How to Cook Broccolini
Broccolini is very easy to cook. There isn’t a lot of prep involved other than a trim of the stalks. The balance of smaller florets and thinner stalks makes it easier to cook through more evenly than broccoli.
One of my favourite ways to cook broccolini is roasting it. The slightly burnt bits of the florets and leaves add a smokey flavour to tender stalks.
A simple blanch in hot water, tossing in olive oil, and a good pinch of salt is probably the quickest way to serve this delicious green vegetable.
And as much as we don’t always think of including broccolini in a salad, it is a fantastic way to give your everyday salad different textures and flavours.
Flavour/Texture: There is a pleasant crunch to the salad even though most of the main ingredients are cooked. Quickly boiled broccolini is tender but retains its crunchy bite, making it great for a salad.
I love balancing the broccolini with soft pan-fried mushrooms, creamy roasted garlic, pine nuts and hot chilli slices. All are adding their interesting textures to the mix.
The teriyaki salad dressing gives the salad a sweet, savoury finish with a hint of ginger.
Ease: There are a few steps in creating the salad but nothing too complicated. Roasting whole garlic may be new to some but easy to achieve.
Time: The longest part of the recipe will be roasting the whole garlic. You can prepare the other ingredients whilst the garlic is in the oven.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make Broccolini salad with Mushrooms:
Garlic: Choose a whole garlic that has a tight bulb and is not bruised or damaged.
Olive oil: Good quality olive oil for brushing garlic for roasting and pan-frying mushrooms.
Broccolini: Broccolini is generally available all year round now, but it is best during the winter months. When selecting broccolini for salad, I prefer bunches that don’t have overly thick stalks.
Mushrooms: For this recipe, I liked using Portobello mushrooms and Swiss brown mushrooms for their different sizes and shapes. However, you can choose any type of mushroom that is available. White button or even king oyster mushrooms would work too.
Chilli: I like adding contrasting flavours to salads. The chilli is this recipe will add enough heat to give it a kick but not overpowering.
Pine nuts: One of my favourite nuts to use in cooking! Pine nuts add extra crunch but also a buttery edge to the salad. Just try not to eat the whole packet while preparing other ingredients (like me).
Light soy sauce: Quintessential in Asian cooking, soy sauce is a flavourful sauce made from fermented soybeans. For a gluten free option, you can use tamari.
Brown sugar: Teriyaki salad dressing has a sweet component, so I prefer to use brown sugar as brown sugar creates a deep caramel sweetness. A perfect balance with soy sauce.
Mirin: Mirin is similar to sake but a little more subtle with less alcohol content and higher sugar levels. It adds a distinct sweet umami flavour to many classic Japanese dishes.
Rice wine vinegar: One of the essential kinds of vinegar to have in the pantry, especially for Asian salad dressings. Compared to white vinegar, rice wine vinegar is less acidic with a milder, sweeter flavour.
Sesame oil: The aroma of sesame oil is second to none. It adds a nutty fragrance to the overall balance of the dressing.
Ginger: Using grated ginger in the dressing adds a little heat and aromatic flavours to the teriyaki salad dressing.
Variations and Substitutions
Broccolini substitution: If you can not find broccolini, you can use broccoli as a substitution. I would cut the broccoli into small florets and trim the stalks into small match sticks just like our broccoli slaw recipe, so there is no wastage.
Nut free option: You can omit the pine nuts for a nut free option.
Pine nut alternatives: If you don’t have pine nuts, you can use almonds. Almonds in broccolini salad are quite popular.
Reduce roasted garlic: If you have guests who are not big fans of garlic, add half of the roasted garlic to the salad and leave the other half in a bowl on the side. This way, if people would like more roasted garlic, they can add more.
Mirin substitute: If you don’t have mirin in your pantry, you can substitute it with a dry white wine. Alternatively, you can omit it in the dressing if you don’t have either.
Step by step instructions for how to make Broccolini Salad with Mushrooms:
How To Roast Whole Garlic
Roasting garlic changes it completely. From a harsh, pungent raw vegetable, garlic transforms into a sweet, creamy, soft finish when you roast them in the oven.
This is my favourite way to eat garlic. I always add a few cloves of garlic to all my roast vegetables. Squeezing out the soft sweet flesh at the end is so satisfying.
If you like roasted garlic, you have to try Amy’s Baby Bell Peppers Salad with Roasted Garlic.
Preheat oven to 200°C or 400°F.
Cut the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves.
Brush with about ½ tablespoon of the olive oil and place in a muffin tray. If you don’t have a muffin tray, you can wrap the garlic in foil.
Place in oven and roast for 40 minutes.
The garlic is done when the cloves are soft when pierced with a skewer or small knife. The top of the garlic bulb would also turn a golden brown colour. If there are some charred black bits, that is fine too, as the caramelisation adds to the flavour.
Once ready, remove from oven and set aside to cool down.
How to Prepare the Salad
Whilst the garlic is roasting in the oven, bring a medium sized pot of water to the boil.
Trim broccolini stalks at the bottom and then cut each stem on the diagonal into 3 cm lengths.
Once the water is boiled, add chopped broccolini and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain from water and place in an ice bath to stop further cooking.
Remove from ice bath and shake dry.
Wash and slice portobello and Swiss brown mushrooms.
Heat a medium sized frypan and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Place mushrooms in pan and sautè until they turn soft. Remove from heat and set aside to assemble.
Cut chilli into thin rounds.
How To Prepare Teriyaki Salad Dressing
In a small mixing bowl, add soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.
Mix until brown sugar is fully dissolved.
Grate approximately 2 cm ginger to yield 1 tablespoon of grated ginger into the salad dressing.
Stir well to combine.
How To Assemble The Salad
Using a fork, pick out roasted garlic cloves from the garlic skin.
In a large mixing bowl, place broccolini, mushrooms, roasted garlic cloves, ½ chilli and ½ the pinenuts together.
Drizzle with teriyaki salad dressing and toss together.
How to Make This Salad Perfectly (Expert Tips)
Use an ice bath or cold water: To retain the crunch of broccolini after blanching, it is always good to throw the broccolini in a bath of cold/ice water to stop it from cooking. I know this is an extra step, but it will help to retain the colour and crispness.
Drain the excess liquid from mushrooms: Don’t keep the excess liquid after cooking the mushrooms.
Make sure the roasted garlic is well cooked: This is not a recipe for raw garlic so make sure the roasted garlic is well cooked and soft so you can mash it through the broccolini salad.
Great Mains for This Salad
Here are some great mains to serve with Broccolini Salad with Mushrooms:
This grilled Asian pork tenderloin is a great match for this Asian styled salad with all of its ginger, garlic and soy. OR if you want to opt for something super simple yet flavoursome to have with the crunchy broccolini, you can’t go past this burnt garlic fried rice.
For you fish lovers, this Chilean sea bass is pan-fried until it’s flaky and tender. Who doesn’t love some crispy skin!
Frequently Asked Questions
We find broccolini pretty much all year round, but the peak season for this delicious vegetable is the cooler winter months.
When choosing your broccolini, look for bunches that have fresh bases and not dried out. The stems should be firm, and the florets are tight and green with no flowering.
You can store broccolini in the fridge in a tightly sealed bag for up to 1 week
Broccolini is a very versatile ingredient as it can be sautéed, steamed, stir-fried, grilled and roasted. Whilst broccolini can be eaten raw, it is sweeter and tender when cooked.
To eat raw broccolini, I would suggest slicing it on a diagonal thinly versus just eating the whole stem as is.
When selecting garlic, look for plump bulbs with unbroken skin. The garlic should feel heavy for their size and not light, as this could be a sign that the cloves are starting to dry up. Avoid garlic heads that have soft spots or that are sprouting.
Garlic can keep for a while if stored in a cool room temperature area. Avoid any dampness in the space.
You can easily transport this salad with all components mixed together.
Yes, you can prepare ahead of time. It will work as a meal prep lunch item as well. All items can be mixed ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a couple of days.
I loved mixing the sweet, savoury flavours of the teriyaki salad dressing with very simple everyday ingredients to create a delicious broccolini salad.
The earthy mushrooms against the crunchy broccolini mashed together with the smokey roasted garlic is a match made in heaven. Umami explosion happening right on your plate.
More Asian Salad Recipes:
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Broccolini Salad with Mushrooms
- 1 garlic, whole
- 1½ tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 bunch broccolini
- 300 g mushrooms, Portobello and Swiss brown
- 1 chilli, red
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Cut the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves. Brush with ½ tsp olive oil and place in oven, and roast for 40 minutes.
- Trim broccolini stalks and slice each stem on the diagonal into 3 cm lengths. Add chopped broccolini and blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain from water and place in an ice bath to stop further cooking. Remove from ice bath and shake dry.
- Wash and slice Portobello and Swiss brown mushrooms. Heat a medium sized fry-pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Sauté mushrooms until they turn soft.
- Cut chilli into thin rounds.
- In a small mixing bowl, add soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.
- Mix until brown sugar is fully dissolved.
- Grate approximately 1 tbsp ginger into the salad dressing.
- Stir well to combine.
- Using a fork, pick out roasted garlic cloves from the garlic skin.
- In a large mixing bowl, place broccolini, mushrooms, roasted garlic cloves, ½ chilli and ½ the pine nuts together.
- Drizzle with teriyaki salad dressing and toss together.
- Tumble onto a large serving plate.
- Scatter with remaining pine nuts and chilli and serve.
- You can use broccoli as a substitution for broccolini in this recipe. Cut the broccoli into small florets and trim the stalks into small match sticks so there is no wastage.
- Omit the pine nuts for a nut free option.
- Those who prefer less garlic, add half of the roasted garlic in the salad and leave the other half in a bowl on the side.
- Substitute mirin with a dry white wine. Alternatively, you can omit it in the dressing if you don’t have either.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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