It’s perfectly okay if you don’t remember your mom serving you broccoli rabe (sometimes spelled raab.)
This vegetable is also called rapini. Actually, it is a rather latter-day Italian designer vegetable launched in 1964, not akin to broccoli but related to turnips (Brassica family) which is popular for its roots. However, the rabe features itself as an above-ground, newfangled delicacy. It’s same-color “blooms” look like mini broccoli buds, on tender stems nestled amid same- shade, same-tasting small leaves, but this is as far as it follows the broccoli route.
Almost nutty, bold-flavored and pleasantly pungent, broccoli rabe enjoys passing its time with garlic, olive oil, pasta, shallots, sausage, even cream!
Rapini was earliest enjoyed in southern Europe and China. Later the Italians and Portuguese took great advantage of it.
Rapini or broccoli rabe is a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.
It seems, possibly because it is patented and latter-day, broccoli rabe is usually sold in our area at a firm price, rarely changing, an unusual practice for other vegetables we know.
Choose fresh-looking, perky buds mixed amid leaves, making sure it is tinged with no yellow. Do not wash until ready to use, store and use within five days.
Usually, initial preparation involves blanching, steaming or sauteing rapini with garlic over low heat about 10 minutes.
Works well with:
Pasta, polenta and couscous
Works with all meats
Sauté or roast briefly with olive oil
Accents well with bacon and Parmesan cheese
See many more delicious broccoli rabe recipes: