This Crispy Crunchy Baked Broccolini ® turned out even better than I could have hoped for, it's not only super easy to make, but it's SO flavorful, and a side dish that will quickly become a family favorite!
Last Thursday my husband, Mike, and I had the opportunity to tour the Mann's Fresh Vegetables farms and factories where they grow and produce their Broccolini and sugar snap peas, and we both took away so much more than we thought that we would.
It's incredibly humbling to see exactly what goes into the food that we eat. Even as a food blogger, it's easy to feel disconnected from the process as I head to the grocery store to pick up whatever food that I need, without having to put in any real effort.
Growing and producing the food that we eat is physically challenging work, and I have so much respect for the farmers and workers that make it possible!
We started our day at the Mann's Fresh Vegetables Broccolini fields, which is what inspired me to make this Crispy Crunchy Baked Broccolini recipe for you! While I love simple roasted Broccolini, this Crispy Crunchy Baked Broccolini takes it to a whole new level of flavor and deliciousness!
Broccolini is a cross between Chinese kale and broccoli, which first became available in the United States in 1996, thanks to Mann's Fresh Vegetables! I personally love that it's slightly sweeter and milder than regular broccoli. I learned from trying it myself that the end of the stalk is actually the sweetest and most tender, which is something that you can only truly experience while in the fields.
Broccolini takes 80-90 days from seed to harvest during the summer, and 115-125 days during the winter. The summer crop is harvested every 4-5 days, and the winter crop takes twice as long, typically 8-10 days.
Mann's Fresh Vegetables Broccolini is harvested completely by hand, tearing off all of the side shoots until they make a bunch. Once the bunches are created, the Broccolini is cut to spec.
Occasionally you may see small yellow flowers on your Broccolini, which is due to a few different factors. It could be weather related, or if the farmers come in to pick the Broccolini a day or two late, it may begin to flower.
After touring the Broccolini fields, we went back to the corporate office for lunch, and then moved onto the sugar snap pea fields. Sugar snap peas start as a flower, and through the flowers at the top of the vine, you'll see tiny sugar snap peas beginning to grow. As you go down the vine, you'll see that the sugar snap peas get bigger and bigger. The sugar snap peas that are at the bottom of the vine are harvested first.
I LOVE sugar snap peas, and lemme tell you, there's NOTHING like eating a sugar snap pea right off the vine! They're incredibly crunchy and sweet!
Our day ended at the factory where the sugar snap peas are processed and packaged. It's such a cool experience to see for yourself! First, the snap peas are sorted by hand, and then they go through a stream of water, which cleans them and prepares them for packaging. After the cleaning, they go through a drying process and are then weighed and packaged for us to purchase and enjoy!
Be sure to stay tuned to my Instagram and Facebook page as well, as I'll be sharing a short video giving you a look into what it actually takes to bring Mann's Fresh Vegetables Broccolini from farm to table!
Looking for another delicious Broccolini recipe? Check out my Bacon Roasted Broccolini with "Cheese" Sauce!
Want even more delicious recipes using Mann's Fresh Vegetables? Check out my recipes for Loaded Taco Fries, Cajun Spiced Butternut Squash Zig Zags, Powered Up Veggie Muffins & Loaded Veggie Burger Buns!
Enjoy this recipe for my Crispy Crunchy Baked Broccolini!
Disclaimer: This Crispy Crunchy Baked Broccolini is a sponsored post on behalf of Mann's Fresh Vegetables. All opinions on Living Loving Paleo are always 100% my own and I only ever work with companies that I absolutely love. My sponsors help to keep Living Loving Paleo up and running! This post also contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I truly believe in, and that I use myself or find to be very valuable. Thanks for helping me to keep my blog up and running!