Blanching broccoli rabe and then sautéing it gives this robust green well-rounded flavor.
Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes
SERVES 4 FAST VEG
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Many Italians have a taste for bitter greens, so it’s no surprise that broccoli rabe is so popular in that country. But when developing our recipe, we knew that broccoli rabe’s bitterness can be overwhelming to some, so we set out to develop a quick and dependable method of cooking this aggressive vegetable that would tamp down the bitterness in favor of rounder, more balanced flavor. We found that blanching the rabe in a large amount of salted water tamed its bitterness without eliminating its depth of flavor. Then we sautéed the blanched rabe with garlic and red pepper flakes, Italian standbys that complemented the vegetable’s strong flavor beautifully. Using a salad spinner makes easy work of drying the cooled blanched broccoli rabe.
14 ounces broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1. Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large saucepan. Fill large bowl halfway with ice and water. Add broccoli rabe and 2 teaspoons salt to boiling water and cook until wilted and tender, about 2½ minutes. Drain broccoli rabe, then transfer to ice water and let sit until chilled. Drain again and thoroughly pat dry.
2. Cook oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until garlic begins to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, add broccoli rabe, and cook, stirring to coat with oil, until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Broccoli Rabe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts FAST VEG
Add ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips, to skillet with oil. Sprinkle broccoli rabe with 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts before serving.
Broccoli Rabe with Red Bell Pepper, Olives, and Feta FAST
Substitute 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano for pepper flakes. Add 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces, to skillet with oil and oregano. Add ¼ cup chopped kalamata olives to skillet with broccoli rabe. Sprinkle broccoli rabe with ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese before serving.
Trimming Broccoli Rabe
1.Trim off and discard very thick stalk ends, about 2 inches from bottom of stalks.
2.Cut remaining stems and florets into pieces according to recipe directions.