Broccoli rabe (also known as “rapini”) is one of those vegetables I’ve been meaning to learn to cook for a long time. I finally tackled it the other day before incorporating it into a dish with tortellini and goat cheese (that recipe is coming next!).
I have to be honest, it didn’t come out perfect on my first try, but I think I know what to do differently next time.
So here’s what I did, more or less following this recipe from Serious Eats (I omitted the chili flakes).
First, you trim off the stalks, before cutting the broccoli rabe into 3-4″ long pieces.
Then, you blanch it– you quickly submerge it in boiling water for 2-3 minutes before transferring it to a skillet. This helps soften it without making boiling the primary cooking method.
Then, you just chop up one clove of garlic, brown it in a skillet with olive oil, and then add the broccoli rabe and saute until wilted:
I left mine in the boiling water for a little longer (about 5 minutes) because I was skeptical about it becoming soft enough. It ended up too soft, so next time I will definitely limit it to 2-3 minutes.
By the way, here’s an interesting article from the Kitchn on the differences between broccoli, broccoli rabe, and Chinese broccoli. Although they’re all technically part of the cabbage family, they aren’t as closely related as you’d think. Broccoli rabe is actually more closely related to turnips than these other two veggies. Hmm, strange.
And here is a recipe I might try next from the New York Times: Spaghetti With Broccoli Rabe, Toasted Garlic and Bread Crumbs