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Broccoli Raab preparation

I have never made it, any tips on how to prepare? Do I use the whole thing or just the florets? Peel first?


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  1. I usually trim the bottom 1/2 inch off the stems and steam whole for a while until on the crunchy side of cooked.Usually between 7-10 mins. While they're steaming, fry some garlic in olive oil until it's toasty golden brown. Finish your rabe by tossing it in the garlicy oil pan and sprinkle with some sea salt before you serve.
    We also make a fabulous pasta almost the same way. Just chop the rabe a little before you put it in the garlic (you can also add anchovies and cook with the garlic if you like them) toss with whatever pasta you like (my fave here is farfalle) and add some fresh grated parmesan.
    Now I have to go out and buy some broccoli rabe ....enjoy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: DanCan

      oh - and no peeling necessary - just the usual rinse and trim the bad looking leaves.

    2. Cut off the bottom of the stems. If desired, peel the thick stems part way up. Steam (retains its shape better and more flavour) or blanch (softer texture) before finishing cooking as DanCan explains. You can also toss blanched or unblanched rapini with olive oil and roast in a medium oven.

      Quite a few ideas in this recent discussion: www.chowhound.com/topics/382326

      You might also try plugging rapini into the forum's search engine.

      1. I soak the broccoli raab in cold water to remove some of the bitterness before cooking.

        3 Replies
        1. re: FoxyWiles

          After I wash in "many waters", I rough chop, and sautee in EVOO with minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and a few anchovies (oil pack). Toss a few times then cover till tender, but still bright green and kinda crisp. Sometimes I use this as a sauce for a cut macaroni, sometimes it's a side.
          This is the way I cook many green leafy vegetables.

          1. re: Gio

            That's exactly how I cook my broccoli rabe! The anchovies add a great umami taste to the dish.

          2. re: FoxyWiles

            I'm interested in this soaking suggestion-- does it have the same effect as blanching in boiling water? How long should it soak?
            Like others have mentioned here, I find it's often necessary to blanch it to remove the bitterness. But if it was possible to achieve the same effect without boiling, that would be even better! :)

          3. I trim the bottoms as DanCan says, then cut into sections roughly 3" long. I cut the stems a little shorter, leave the tops a little longer (to even out cooking times). I usually take a bite to see how bitter it is - it can vary a lot from bunch to bunch. After washing and shaking dry, I throw it into a pan or wok with hot oil and some rough-chopped garlic, toss it around with some salt and put the lid on to let it steam over med-high heat. It takes 5-10 minutes to be done - test with a fork through the thickest part of the stem, it should have a little chew. I usually finish with a splash of vinegar and some hot red pepper, but it depends on what else is being served. If the broccoli rabe doesn't have a distinct bitter edge to it, I leave out the vinegar and pepper.

            1. I am the person who started the recent discussion on Rapini (another name for Broccoli Raab).

              I ended up making it two ways:

              First, I steamed it whole after chopping off the bottom of the stems. It took about five minutes.

              Then I chopped it up into two-three inch pieces and sauted it in olive oil, capers, tons of garlic and anchovie paste. I then tossed in some cooked whole grain pasta (penne) and then served topped with parmesan. Yummy

              The next day, I steamed it and chopped it in the same way.

              Then I sauted it with a lot of garlic and red-pepper flakes. At the end, I spritzed some fresh lemon juice on it, which really added a nice flavor. I served it as a side with spicy italien sausage and roasted sliced potatos and sweet potatoes. Also very good!

              1. I trim the stem ends and then chop the whole bunch. I like to blanch it first, and drain well before sauteeing with garlic and sometimes pine nuts in olive oil.

                It's delicious in a sandwich of focaccia bread!

                1 Reply
                1. re: ChefJune

                  I wash and trim the rapini, leaving it in manageable stalk and floret "bouquets". I leave some of the water clinging to the vegetable and lay groupings on large sections of heavy duty foil - sprinkle with salt and olive oil then wrap into packets. I place the packets on a fired up grill, turning occasionally until done. The rapini steams and chars a bit inside the foil. Squeeze on lemon when done.

                2. I love broccoli rabe/rapini, and all these suggestions are great. If it's too bitter for you, it does make a big difference to blanch it first, and then saute or roast. My husband really doesn't like it unblanched, but he'll chow down if I blanch it first.

                  1. it's delicious in pasta with garlic and sausage. cook the pasta in the water that you blanched the rabe in.....

                    brown some bulk italian sausage, add garlic, a bit of evoo, red pepper flakes, add the blanched rabe, stir in the cooked pasta (adding some cooking water if it's too dry), remove from heat and add a handful of parmasan.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: eLizard

                      I agree, this is a really delicious combination. I usually use turkey sausage.

                    2. EASY, EASY, EASY Rapini dishes, unlike any others listed!!!

                      PURCHASE: Try to buy rapini with pencil thick, or less, stems. Avoid stems with cracks or white on them. Florettes should be tight, green, no "flowers" or yellow anywhere.

                      PREP: Remove any dry appearing leaves. Cut stems (using the "bend & snap as you would for asparagus). I ALWAYS blanch the rapini, anywhere from 2-3 mins to 8-10 mins, depending on how much bitterness I want removed or how tender. Immediately transfer to ice water bowl. At this point you can proceed with your recipe or drain well and pat dry and toss in frig (in tightly sealed container or bag). Blanching helps extend shelf life.

                      RECIPES: This is a base recipe. Build the following 4 dishes upon this. After blanching, drain well and gently pat dry with paper towel or tea towel. Sautee raab in a large fry pan with extra-virgin olive oil & roasted garlic. Add ingredients (below) then season with a good salt, (a good sea salt, gray salt, or a coarse Kosher salt.). Add fresh red pepper flakes to taste. Just prior to serving add, to your taste, freshly grated Parma-Reggiano cheese.

                      #2. To the above base, add coarse chopped sundried tomatoes.

                      #3. To the base and #2, add Cannellini beans. If using canned beans, drain well and rinse thoroughly prior to adding to fry pan and rapini. (Cannellini are "white" Italian beans, like a white kidney or pinto bean, which can be found in most all supermarkets with the other beans. If your store has an ethnic section these can be found in the Italian section. Progresso is a very large product line and they make Cannellini beans. Can also use dry beans (already soaked and cooked, etc.)

                      #4. Add oven roasted italian sausage. Remove casings prior to roasting, then cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick medallions. (Roast in 350 degree oven 35-45 min or until done.) You can add the sundried tomatoes, beans, both or one or the other, for variety. Add cheese.

                      #5. To #4, add cooked pasta, a penne or farfalle (bowties). You can cook the pasta in the same water you blanched the rapini in, or use fresh water. Save some of the pasta water in case the rapini, pasta, sausage, tomatoes, beans, etc., is too dry. Add some of the pasta water. Add a handful of freshly grated Parm-Reggie cheese and gently mix well. Place cheese at table to allow each guest to add more cheese, if they desire. Use a veggie peeler across the chunk of Parma-Reggie and add cheese curls on top for a beautiful presentation. Remember, we eat with our eyes first!!

                      #6. Minus the pasta, (#4) serve the rapini, sundried tomatoes, cannelli and Parm-Reg curls upon a slice of nice crusty Italian bread for a great bruschetta! Serve this very EASY dish at your next dinner and your family and/or guests will think you just graduated from culinary school! Simple, inexpensive, beautiful, and most of all, YUMMY! :) Nutritious, too. Great for vegans, too!

                      1. PIZZZA a la RAPINI ! ! ! YUMMY (easy, too!)

                        INGRED'S: Dough for one large pizza (can purchase fresh dough from your local pizza place, bakery, make your own, use those premade precooked pizza doughs from supermarket, or use frozen bread dough, using 1 loaf, thaw and shape. Can also use a large foccacia.)
                        1 bunch rapini, washed, cleaned, etc. Cut into 3-4 inch pieces. Blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes...no longer than 2 minutes!!! Pat dry with paper towels.
                        1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed, cooked/roasted, cut into small pieces,
                        1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, julienned,
                        4 tablespoons chopped garlic, 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, 3 tablespoons shredded fresh basil, 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, olive oil.

                        PREP: Spread dough evenly on pizza pan. Generously coat with olive oil. Sprinkle surface with the garlic. Spread mozzarella. Top with Italian sausage, sundried tomatoes, and broccoli rabe. Sprinkle with fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes.

                        Bake in preheated oven until crust browns, 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until done. Watch pizza, as ovens varies. Serve immediately.

                        1. i chop broc. rabe into large pieces and throw them into a pot of pasta e fagliole soup towards the end of cooking...taste...add some sugar to balance flavor/acidity/bitterness, if necessary (same with tomato sauces)

                          1. Is this the same vegetable as rapini?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: mrbozo

                              Yes I believe it is just a different name for it.

                              1. re: Keramel

                                Thanks for the clarification. Here in Toronto (and in Montreal) it is called rapini.

                                My favourite preparation is to sautee it in olive oil in which two or three anchovies have been dissolved and garlic softened. I like to have it with any steamed white fish (the bitterness of the rapini plays nicely against the sweetness of the fish) and boiled buttered and dilled baby potatoes.

                            2. I agree blanching it is a must--can be very bitter.