Rainbow carrots and broccolini is a super delicious side dish that takes no time to prepare and is fail-proof.

Imagine perfectly roasted carrots rich in flavor, married with steamed to perfection broccolini and with just the perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness all in one savory dish. Are your taste buds wanting some now?

Rainbow Carrots with Broccolini

I always make it a point to have two side dishes of vegetables with our meals. Here, I have two vegetables combined.

This recipe with rainbow carrots makes for a beautiful presentation at any table at any time of the year.

Before we dive into this easy recipe, I want to share some small insights about the ingredients used and tips.

In this Article

What is broccolini?

A broccolini is a cross-bread between broccoli and Chinese broccoli, gai lan.

Broccolini, Aspabroc, baby broccoli, or tender stem broccoli, is a green vegetable similar to broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thinner stalks.

With both broccolini and broccoli, you enjoy the florets and the stems.

The broccolini was first introduced to our vegetable stands in 1993.

Flavorwise: both super delicious and easy to cook with.

A quick note about Agave Nectar

Living in the Southwest, agave is easily accessible to us at all our markets.

Agave syrup comes from the agave plant. A succulent plant that is native to Mexico and desert living.

It primarily comes in two varieties: blue and salmiania. Blue agave is famous for its use in tequila making via fermentation.

Agave syrup is considered an added sugar when consumed independently, added or included in food or beverages, like maple syrup and pure honey.

Thinner in consistency makes it more appealing in baking as well as cooking.

Because of its sugar-sweet qualities, you must use less than your regular sugars or sweeteners.

Rainbow Carrots with Broccolini

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed to make this delicious broccolini and rainbow carrots

This is a short introduction. The ingredient list is also short. It includes essential items that you may already have in your pantry. Please read the recipe for complete instructions.

Rainbow Carrots: I make this dish with regular or rainbow carrots. Rainbow carrots are a mix of colorful varieties picked at their immature stages for young harvest. Ensure they are hard to the touch, have no visible filaments along the carrot, and the tips are still intact and not starting to brown and wither. This is a sign of old carrots, and they will not taste the same. Necessary as well that all the carrots be the same size to help with roasting evenly.

Broccolini:  Bright green, no limping of the stem, and ok if florets are on your broccolini, as they are good to eat.

Olive oil: My favorite when roasting vegetables. Bring richness to the flavor.

Agave nectar or agave syrup. Living in the Southwest, agave is easily found at our grocery stores. Honey will be a suitable substitute.

Lemon: Brings the right amount of acidity to this dish while balancing the sweetness of the agave.

Garlic: Pairs beautifully with the Broccolini and brings a bit of a snap to it.

Balsamic vinegar: The sweetness of the balsamic works well against the tartness of the broccolini.

Pine nuts (optional): Always fun to have a bit of a crunch. I always have pine nuts that I roast and keep in a jar for last-minute chopping to put over a salad or pasta.

Parsley: Used as a garnish, optional if you do not have it on hand, it always adds flavor to all dishes.

Rainbow Carrots with Broccolini

Equipment needed

I only recommend what I use and love.

Carrot peeler: we all need one in our drawer. Always a good idea to remove the thin external layer of the carrot.

Chef’s knife: slice your carrots and remove the bottom end of your broccolini

Herb shear scissors to chop your parsley.

Cookie sheet: used to roast your carrots in the oven

Mixing bowls: one to mix your carrots with the oil, the other for your ice bath, and for the broccolini.

Steamer pan: I use a pan with a steamer insert. Much easier to remove from the pan.

Serving plate: I always love to present my food on a nice plate. The eyes are enjoying your feast, too; give them the satisfaction they need. White is always my favorite as all food always looks better.


Rainbow Carrots with Broccolini

Cooking tips and step-by-step and how to make this fantastic broccolini and rainbow carrots recipe

This recipe is super easy to make. Here are a few suggestions to ensure great success while preparing it.

Although the carrots are not prepared in the same cooking manner as the broccolini,  both can be prepared at the same time, and by the time the carrots are nicely roasted, your side dish will be ready to be enjoyed.

Rainbow Carrots:

While the oven is preheating, peel the carrots and slice them lengthwise. If using rainbow carrots, leave just a 1/2 inch of the stem for each carrot.

  • Place your carrots on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Coat the carrots with the olive oil well and place them cut-side-down.
  • Season lightly with salt and place in the hot oven.
  • Once done, drizzle the agave nectar over them and some lemon juice.
  • Taste and just the taste to your liking.

Broccolini:

Meanwhile, steam the broccolini for about four minutes.

  • Once steamed but still crispy, remove them from the steaming basket and place them in a bowl of ice and cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Discard the water, dry the broccolini, and toss in a large bowl with olive oil, finely chopped garlic, and balsamic vinegar.

Assembling the whole dish

Now that both the roasted rainbow carrots and the broccolini are done, it is time to add the finishing touches to your recipe:

  • Add broccolini with the carrots, give them a good mix, and be careful not to break them as you do.
  • Transfer your vegetables to a serving plate and sprinkle parsley and roasted pine nuts.
  • Serve immediately.
Rainbow Carrots with Broccolini

Recipe variations

  • Of course, you can replace the broccolini with French beans.
  • Regular carrots for rainbow carrots.
  • Instead of the pine nuts, add chopped pistachios, pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
  • If agave is not easy to find where you live, it can be substituted with honey, maple syrup, simple syrup, and white sugar.
  • Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes just before serving to add a heat punch to your vegetables.

I recommend using honey with this recipe if you do not have agave nectar.

What pairs well with your roasted broccolini and carrots

This versatile side dish perfectly matches most poultry, pork, and beef.

It is the best side dish for turkey and ham during the holiday season.

It is perfect for steamed fish, salmon, cod, my all-time favorite grouper recipe, or sea bass.

Rainbow Carrots with Broccolini

Storage instructions

This delicious broccolini and carrots store well in an airtight glass container for a few days in the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Broccolini the same thing as Broccoli Rabe?

No. the Broccoli rabe is more closely related to the kael than broccoli and is much more bitter than broccolini.

Can you substitute Broccolini for Broccoli?

Yes, you can substitute broccolini for broccoli florets as the flavor is similar. If you want to substitute the broccoli stalks, then Chinese broccoli is an excellent choice as they are the same thickness on the stalk.

What part of Broccolini do you eat?

The whole bunch, leaves, stalk, and small yellow flowers are edible; therefore, there is no waste.

Equipment used to create this fantastic recipe for roasted carrots and broccolini


Large Serving Platter Set - DELLING 16/14/12inch Large Serving Tray - Rectangular White Serving Trays for Party, Turkey Platter Set of 3, Christmas
$34.99 ($11.66 / Count)
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OXO Good Grips Swivel Vegetable Peeler
$11.97
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Herb Scissors, Kitchen Herb Shears Cutter with 5 Blades and Cover
$9.99
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Sunhouse - 5.5 Quarts Multipurpose Stock Pot and Steamer Pot with PFOA-free,18/10 Stainless Steel Steam Pot for Cooking Vegetables, Seafood - Cooking Pot with Lid Suitable for Soups, Stews and Pasta
$55.99
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Nordic Ware 3 Piece Baker's Delight Set, 1 Pack, Aluminum
$26.98
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Bellemain Stainless Steel Non-Slip Mixing Bowls with Lids (5 Piece, Silver/Black)
$31.99
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02/19/2024 07:50 pm GMT

Rainbow Carrots and Broccolini

5 from 7 votes
Rainbow Carrots with Broccolini
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Broccolini and carrots is a super delicious side dish that takes no time to prepare and is fail-proof.
 

Ingredients 

  • 1 bunch rainbow carrots, peeled and cut lenghtwise
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, salt
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • pine nuts, roasted is optional
  • parsley, Finely chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven at 400F.
  • On a cookie sheet drizzle the rainbow carrots with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the cut side down on the cookie sheet, season lightly with salt. Roast for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly soft.
  • Remove from the oven, place in a bowl, and drizzle some of the agave nectar and some of the lemon juice (taste and adjust to your taste liking).
  • Meanwhile steam the broccolini for about 3 -4 minutes, or still crispy. Remove and place in a bowl of ice to stop the cooking process. Discard  the water, dry and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with garlic and the balsamic vinegar.
  • Toss with the carrots. Garnish with pine nuts and parsley.

Notes

Recipe variations

  • Of course, you can replace broccolini with French beans.
  • Instead of the pine nuts, add chopped pistachios, pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
  • If agave is not easy to find where you live, it can be substituted with: honey, maple syrup, simple syrup, and white sugar.
  • Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes just before serving to add a heat punch to your vegetables. 
Whit this recipe, I recommend using honey if you do not have agave nectar. 

Storage instructions

This delicious broccolini and carrots store well in an airtight glass container for a few days in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 14950IU | Vitamin C: 58.6mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 0.9mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on June 6, 2019. Edited on July 8, 2023.