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Rapini Meal Ideas

Hi Everyone,

I just bought a nice bunch of rapini, and I am tired of the ways I normally prepare it.

Besides steaming with garlic, or serving it in a tomato, garlic sauce over pasta, what are some other ways you prepare it?

Side dish or main dish is fine.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Steam, chop, saute with olive oil, garlic, anchovies and/or nam pla, and chile flakes or chopped fresh chiles.

    This can be a side dish, a sauce for pasta (preferably orecchiette) or polenta, or a pizza topping.

    1. It's a classic with sausage. Sausage and garlic and broccoli rabe pasta is my idea of comfort food. Use the broccoli water or a bit of chicken stock to moisten the pasta and top with grated Parm and even toasted fresh buttered breadcrumbs if you like.

      1. skip the tomatoes, sautee with garlic and red chili flakes. serve with spicy sausage and crusty bread.

        sautee and drain. chop small, mix with eggs and cheese and bake a quasi-frittata.

        it's quite good with lentils too.

        1. These sound delicious! Your advice is much appreciated. I will have to divide the bunch up into two so I can try more than one of these!

          1. Blanch or roast rapini; dry well. Mix 1/4 cup mirin, a tbsp miso, and a teaspoon or so of dark sesame oil. Toss w/ rapini, then sprinkle w/ sesame seeds.

            Blanch rabe; set aside. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil til soft. Add a little vermouth and rapini and salt and pepper; cook til onions are soft. In a blender, puree some reconstiuted sundried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, capers, a little lemon juice, and olive oil til smooth... I make halibut or mahi mahi en papillote w/ vermouth or white wine and lemon juice and onions, then serve over the rapini w/ the pesto.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Emme

              I much prefer to steam rather than blanch. Better flavor.

            2. 1.Add white beans to the sausage/broccoli rabe/pasta combo
              2. Make a frittata with it ( I add leftover roasted potatoes)

              1. My dad's signature recipe is rapini blanched and sautéed with garlic, then mixed with pitted black olives and toasted fresh breadcrumbs (make sure you use a good crusty bread). The bread soaks up the leftover olive oil and garlic juice.

                You can also mix cooked rapini with strong cheese and use it as a stuffing for calzoni or a savoury strudel. Or braise rapini with garlic and stock, then ladle onto polenta.

                1. The sausage /rabe/garlic combo also makes a great sandwich. Alternatively you can substitute either roast pork or chicken breast for the meat. Just make sure you toast your bread and drizzle it with olive oil first.

                  1. with sausage and polenta....
                    that's comfort food.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: shindiganna

                      Try Risotto with Rapini and Sausage. (YUM-O)

                    2. Puree some cooked white beans with some bread soaked in milk or a boiled potato, olive oil , salt & pepper. If it's cold, reheat in a double boiler. Blanch and then saute your rapini with garlic and crushed red pepper. Mound a little of the bean puree and top with the broccoli rabe . . .

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bropaul

                        I do something similar but use dried fava beans instead of white beans and I drizzle with olive oil at the table.

                        Another favourite prep (with a hat tip to Alice Waters): Sauté a sliced onion and 1 or 2 crushed chiles in olive oil over high heat until the onion begins to brown. Add 3-4 sliced garlic cloves and sauté for a minute more. Add 1/2 to 1 bunch coarsely chopped rapini, salt and 1/2 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated and the rapini is tender (add more water if necessary). Add a splash of red wine vinegar and let bubble away. Off the heat, pour in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Toss with cooked pasta (fusili is a favourite) and grated pecorino.

                      2. Rapini is one of my most favourite foods! No joke....it is even written on my profile!

                        I love is sauteed in some olive oil...I usually add garlic (about 3 cloves per bunch) and always a dasy of nutmeg.

                        In addition to these I will often add a good pinch of dried red chiles and/or some raisins. The sweetness is great with the rapini.

                        It is fabulous as part of a grilled mozzerella sandwich/panini! I belive mario Batali uses it as part of a sandwich with an anchovy sauce too.

                        I also will substitute it in place of kale in the traditional portugese soup caldo verde.

                        Enjoy it! It is soo tasty and soo good for you!


                        1. Love to wash and dry but leave somewhat damp; rough chop.. Heat EVOO and garlic and chili peppers till garlic is golden. Toss in and then put lid on turning often. I like them this way because they are bitter. I use homemade pizza dough to make calzones and use rapini filling; with our without taleggio cheese, with or without the classic sausage.

                          1. Make rapini pizza. I tried it once with leftover rapini, and now I make it on purpose. Steam or blanch the rapini, saute with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes, and strew it over an assembled pizza. Cook pizza as usual.

                            There's some whole wheat in my pizza dough, and my sauce has short ribs in it, so it's a very sturdy pizza. I don't know if it would be as good with a white-flour crust and a less robust sauce.