Get The Most Out of Your Mini Broccoli from Backyard Eats

Harvesting Mini Broccoli

When It’s Ready
  • Harvest mini broccoli when the heads are compact, and the main head measures about 3-4 inches in diameter.
  • The side shoots should also be of a decent size, typically around 2-3 inches in length.
  • The exact timing can vary based on growing conditions, but mini broccoli generally matures within 50-60 days after transplanting.
When It’s Too Late
  • When plants begin to produce yellow flowers (aka bolt), which makes them bitter and unpalatable
How To
  • When harvesting, use a sharp knife or garden shears to cut the main head of the broccoli from the plant, leaving about 5-6 inches of stem attached to encourage further side shoot production.
  • Harvest side shoots when they reach a usable size, usually every few days.
  • It’s best to harvest in the morning when the heads are crisp and full of moisture.
  • Avoid harvesting during the heat of the day, as the heads may become wilted.

Growing Mini Broccoli

Mini broccoli, also known as “broccolini” or “baby broccoli,” is a tender and flavorful vegetable that is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It features long, slender stems topped with small broccoli florets and leaves, offering a delicate texture and a mild, slightly sweet taste. Mini broccoli is highly nutritious, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and it’s versatile in the kitchen, suitable for sautéing, steaming, roasting, or adding raw to salads and stir-fries. Its compact size and rapid growth make it a popular choice for home gardeners and culinary enthusiasts alike.

Varieties of Broccoli:

Mini Broccoli

Storing Mini Broccoli

Immediately after harvesting, refrigerate the mini broccoli heads. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you have excess, consider blanching and freezing them for longer-term storage.

Cooking With Mini Broccoli

  1. Sautéed Mini Broccoli: Heat olive oil in a pan, add chopped garlic and red pepper flakes for some heat, and sauté mini broccoli until tender-crisp. Season with salt and pepper, and serve as a flavorful side dish or a topping for pizza and pasta.
  2. Mini Broccoli Stir-Fry: Stir-fry mini broccoli with your favorite vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Add a splash of soy sauce or a drizzle of sesame oil for a delicious Asian-inspired dish.
  3. Mini Broccoli Pasta: Blanch or steam mini broccoli until slightly tender, then toss it with cooked pasta, olive oil, garlic, and grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with lemon zest for a bright and tangy twist.
  4. Mini Broccoli and Sausage Skillet: Brown Italian sausage in a skillet, then add chopped mini broccoli and sauté until wilted. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve as a filling and flavorful main dish.
  5. Mini Broccoli Pesto: Blanch or steam mini broccoli, then blend it with garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil to create a unique pesto. Use it as a spread on sandwiches, a topping for grilled chicken or fish, or toss it with cooked pasta.

Try These Broccoli Recipes:

Want To Learn More?

At Backyard Eats, we’re passionate about helping our clients discover and share the magic of homegrown good. Our Harvest Guides will teach you everything you need to know to harvest, store, and cook with fresh produce right from your own backyard! Our Harvest Toolkit Directory includes a list of all our step-by-step guides. Click below to give them a try!