One of my favorite weeknights meals just got transformed into a Cannellini and Broccolini Roll. I’ve been meaning to try this for a while, and it actually worked better than I expected.
First, you need to check out the inspiration. Cacio e Pepe Broccolini with Crispy White Beans and Burrata is not my dish. It was published by Food & Wine but can be found on my Something Borrowed page and is currently the featured recipe.
Cacio e Pepe
Cacio e Pepe is Italian for “cheese and pepper”. It’s a simple and common pasta dish that doesn’t taste common at all when prepared correctly. When I saw this riff on it that included three of my favorite ingredients (cannellini beans, broccolini and burrata) I had to try it.
I was instantly addicted. I simplified the preparation just a tad. After more than a year of making this dish at least once a month (and usually once a week), I never get sick of it. I’ve been contemplating a sushi roll spin on this dish for quite some time.
Beans in Sushi?
I know. I was skeptical myself. My general rule when getting creative with sushi is to just make sure it’s going to taste good dipped in soy sauce. But truth be told, there are not many things that don’t taste good rolled up in rice and dipped in soy sauce so I decided to go for it.
If you are a subscriber on the site, you may have noticed I have a predilection for charred lemon lately. Guess where that came from? The Cacio e Pepe recipe.
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The affect of adding thinly sliced charred lemon slices to pretty much anything gives an instant jolt of pizazz. So of course, this Cannellini and Broccolini Roll includes charred lemon. You’re going to heat up the cast iron skillet for the broccolini anyway so might as well throw the lemon in.
Bring the Heat
The other key to this roll is a generous amount of thinly sliced Fresno chili peppers. Those are the small red ones that you’ll find near jalapenos in the produce section. Sub serranos (the other small green pepper) if you can’t get Fresno.
Bring the Cheese?
My biggest hesitation about converting my beloved bean dish into a cannellini and broccolini roll was whether to add the burrata. I decided on round one to leave it out but then decided that was a mistake.
While the cannellini and broccolini roll was satisfying and yummy, the original dish hinges on the cool creaminess of the burrata mixed in with the warm beans and broccolini, the heat from the chili peppers and the zest of the charred lemon. Next time, I’m going for it.
- parchment paper
- 3/4 cup sushi rice, rinsed several times
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds or furikake (optional)
Blistered Shishito Peppers and Roll Assembly
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 cup broccolini, cut into bite sized pieces
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tbsp Fresno chili, thinly sliced
- 3 sheets nori
- soy sauce for dipping
- wasabi paste, optional
Prepare the Sushi Rice
- Rinse sushi rice in a strainer and place rinsed sushi rice in a small saucepan. Add water and place over med heat. As soon as bubbles start to form on the edges, stir to release anything sticking and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes and then turn off heat (don't open the lid). Allow to steam for another 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with fork. Add rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame seeds or furikake and fluff again. Set aside and allow to rest until just warm.
Preparing the Roll
- While rice is cooking, prepare the charred lemon and broccolini. Preheat a cast iron grill pan over medium high heat. Toss the broccolini and lemon slices in 1 tbsp of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Once pan is hot, add both and allow to sear for about 3 minutes without stirring. Toss around and continue to sear for another 1-2 minutes or until both are tender and charred. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Slice lemon into strips.
- Once rice is done, place one nori sheet (bumpy side up) on a piece of parchment paper. Using a fork and wet fingers, press cooked sushi rice onto the mat firmly leaving 1-2 inches of nori uncovered. Carefully flip the nori over so that the rice is facing down.
- Arrange a small amount of cannellini on the edge of the nori that does not have rice under it. Layer with broccolini, lemon and Fresno chili. You are going to roll that uncovered nori around the filling to get it started. Don't overdo the filling.
- Pick up the edge of your rolling mat and start to flip the exposed piece of nori over the filling ingredients. You essentially want to tuck that piece around and under to get your roll sealed. Lift the parchment and flip it over the roll. Use it as a guide to begin rolling while also pulling it back towards you, and use your fingers to pinch the roll firmly as you go. You want to get things tight on that first turn and then continue rolling about a half turn at a time, pulling the mat free as you continue to roll forward and continuing to pinch along the length of the roll as you go. Unroll the parchment and you should have a beautiful sushi roll!
- The hardest part IMO is cutting. Move the roll to a cutting board and lay a piece of parchment over the top. Use your fingers to hold the parchment and roll firmly while sliced with a serrated knife, gently sawing back and forth as you go. Carefully remove the parchment. Stand back to admire what you've created, then go ahead and make your second roll. Serve immediately or keep wrapped in plastic and refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Serve 1 roll per person with soy sauce for dipping and wasabi paste on the side (optional).