Farmer’s Markets are just great in the summer, aren’t they? The abundance of produce with vibrant colours provides the perfect motivation to try all kinds of recipes. In an attempt to get inspired, I visited a local “market” this week-end. As soon as I laid my eyes on the rapini, I knew I had to make this Italian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Rabe recipe.
I’m guessing right now that there are some of you who love this stuff, some who hate it and some who have no idea what I’m talking about. So let’s start with identifying broccoli rabe.
What is Broccoli Rabe?
Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini (in Italian) is a member of the cabbage family. It has a 6 to 9 inch stalk and a few broccoli-like clusters. This green vegetable distinguishes itself from the rest because of its bitter taste — perhaps an acquired taste. Chances are that if you are a fan of arugula, you will like broccoli rabe.
What to look for when buying Broccoli Rabe:
- florets and stems should have a dark green color;
- stems should be firm;
- florets should be tightly closed.
So now that we know what broccoli rabe is, what do we do with it?
Well, this is how I was taught to prepare rapini.
- The first thing you need to do is trim the stems, taking off anywhere from 1-2 inches, the goal being to remove as much of the tough stalk as possible.
- Then, just like any other vegetable, it needs to be washed.
- Once that’s done, you need to cook it in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender. Remove the broccoli rabe from the water and drain.
- Try to squeeze out (with your hands) as much water as possible. Apparently, this process removes some of the bitterness.
Broccoli Rabe Recipe ideas:
This bold tasting vegetable can be served with pasta for a quick meal (if interested, take a look at this Puglian Italian Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette Pasta Recipe or another favorite of mine -this family recipe for Homemade Italian Broccoli Rabe Cavatelli Pasta); it can be used in a soup; as a topping for pizza; in a sandwich and my personal favorite: stir fried with lots of garlic.
ORIGINS OF THE RECIPE FOR Italian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Rabe:
Growing up Italian meant we would have broccoli rabe at least once a week. Just like this recipe for Swiss chard it would be served as a simple side or combined with other foods. As was previously mentioned, more often than not, my mom would combine it with different pastas. My favorite was (and still is today) with Homemade Cavatelli!
I would encourage you to try out this Italian-style garlicky broccoli rabe recipe– this stuff really does grow on you. Let me know if you love it or hate it, but at least you can’t say you’re confused by it anymore!
Italian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- pinch red chili flakes optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese optional
- olive oil for drizzling
- Trim the stems, anywhere from 1-2 inches.
- Wash broccoli rabe properly.
- Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender for approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Drain and squeeze in order to remove as much of the liquid as possible.
- Over medium heat, drizzle olive oil in a large skillet.
- Sauté minced garlic and chili flakes for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the broccoli rabe and saute for 3-5 minutes or until tender.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Place on serving dish and drizzle with olive oil.
I prefer to chop up my broccoli rabe before stir-frying it with the garlic.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.
Thanks for dropping by,
Ciao for now!
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