The Meatwave

Grilled Broccolini with Lemon and Parmesan

Grilled Broccolini with Lemon and Parmesan View Recipe

I think this is my first time ever cooking broccolini. I'm not quite sure why that is when I like to make broccoli fairly regularly and use gai lan (Chinese broccoli) in dishes often as well, and broccolini is a hybrid of the two, so it would seem to be right up my ally. I actually had a plan to make a regular broccoli side the day I cooked this up, but when I went to the grocery store I saw the broccolini and figured that I might as well give it whirl, plus it had the added benefit of potentially coming out on the other side as a recipe I could share with all you Meatwavers. And that is exactly what happened when I married the common combo of lemon and parmesan with grilled broccolini to make a quick, easy, and quite tasty side.

Grilled Broccolini with Lemon and Parmesan

Once I had a couple bunches of broccolini at home and began prepping them, I was even more dumbfounded why I haven't bought them before—their long stems make them much better suited for grilling that standard broccoli, which I inevitably end up losing some small florets to the fire as the slip through the grates. Prep was even easier than standard broccoli too, for the broccolini I merely washed them and then cut off the thicker and tougher last inch or so of the stalks and was done.

Grilled Broccolini with Lemon and Parmesan

I then got the veggie ready for grilling by tossing it with oil and seasoning with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. The long length of the stalks made this proposition easier to accomplish in a sheet pan rather than the usual bowl.

Grilled Broccolini with Lemon and Parmesan

Out at the grill I was posed with a question as a new broccolini griller: would a hot fire over-char the florets before the stalks were tender? I worried that might be the case, so I waved my hand around the fire to gauge the heat and then positioned the stalks so they would be closer to a hotter zone while the florets rested over more moderate heat. I then let the broccolini cook, moving them around occasionally, waiting for them be feel crisp-tender.

Grilled Broccolini with Lemon and Parmesan

That mark was hit at seven minutes with my fire, and I was really pleased with how both the stalks and tops both picked up attractive charring without becoming burned. I then wasted no time plating them up, squeezing on a little lemon juice, and grating on fresh parmesan.

Grilled Broccolini with Lemon and Parmesan

One thing I never considered when choosing broccolini over broccoli is the flavor. While the two are pretty close, some folks feel like broccoli is bit too bitter, but I'd find it hard to imagine the same being felt of broccolini, which was more mild and neutral. Those characteristics made the lemon and parmesan more prominent and important in this side compared to other things I use the pairing on, like asparagus. It also made the unique stamp of the grill felt more, with the blistered and charred skin adding a lot of character to the stalks that made it taste especially fitting alongside the grilled main it was served with. On top of all that, it was also a welcomed light and fresh dish, very apt for the start of the summer heat that's just now settling in.

Print Recipe

Grilled Broccolini with Lemon and Parmesan

  • Yield 4 servings
  • Prep 2 Minutes
  • Cook 7 Minutes
  • Total 9 Minutes


  • 4 bunches broccolini (about 1 1/2 pounds total), tough and thick stems trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese


  1. Place broccolini on a baking sheet or cutting board, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Gently toss asparagus to thoroughly and evenly coat in oil and seasoning.
  2. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place broccolini on grill, perpendicular to the grates, and cook until tender and lightly charred, about 7 minutes total, turning occasionally.
  3. Transfer broccolini to a serving platter and squeeze on a lemon juice. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with additional lemon slices.

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