Thursday, July 2, 2009

Season 2009 - Week 4 - Produce Highlight - Brocolli Rabe

About Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe (pronounced Broccoli Rob) is also referred to as rabe or rapini. This is another leafy green vegetable that is frequently eaten in Southern Italy and has become popular in the United States. The vegetable has a slightly bitter taste and is frequently steamed or lightly sauteed in olive oil.

The Broccoli Rabe flower looks similar to the broccoli florets. Despite the name this plant is not a type of broccoli but it is in the same brassica family. One of the many health benefits of this vegetable is that it is rich in certain phytochemicals, including sulforaphane and indoles. These are chemicals which are proving to protect us against cancer.

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts
(Makes 2-4 servings, depending on what you're serving with it. Recipe adapted from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop.)

1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 4 cups washed greens)
1 T olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)
3-4 large cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (I used my favorite sun-dried tomatoes for this dish.)
1 T toasted pine nuts
pinch of Aleppo Pepper or your favorite hot pepper flakes
sea salt to season if desired

Wash Broccoli Rabe and spin dry in salad spinner or dry with paper towels. Slice garlic cloves into thin slices. You could rinse sun-dried tomatoes with hot water to remove some of the oil if desired, but I didn't rinse mine.

With stove on medium-high, heat olive oil in large wok or frying pan with deep sides. Add garlic slices and saute about 30 seconds (just long enough to get the garlic flavor in the olive oil, don't let the garlic brown at this point or it will get bitter.) Add broccoli rabe and saute about 2 minutes, until starting to wilt. Add sun-dried tomatoes and hot pepper flakes and saute 2-3 minutes more, until tomatoes are hot and slightly softened and broccoli raab is tender.

While broccoli rabe is cooking, heat pine nuts for 1-2 minutes in dry pan over high heat. They should be barely starting to brown.

Arrange broccoli rabe on serving dish and sprinkle with pine nuts. Season with sea salt if desired and serve hot.

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