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Is it safe to eat raw rapini (broccoli raab)?

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I just brought some rapini home in my weekly CSA box. Since I've never used it at home before, I searched the web and found a difference of opinion about eating it raw. Some say "no," but I've yet to find an explanation why. Is it because you get more nutritional value from it when cooked, like spinach? Or is there a more sinister reason?

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  1. I only do it with some warm dressing like olive oil with garlic. As far as I know, people usually don't eat it raw because the stems are too stiff...no sinister reason that I know of.

    1. I agree with happycamper, it is perfectly safe to eat rapini raw. I have never tried it raw as it's so tasty sauteed in olive oil with garlic and a squeeze of lemon. I imagine it's just one of those vegetables people prefer to eat cooked as raw it may be a little tough.

      1. There are a few things you shouldn't juice raw but I don't think rapini is one of them. I think one of them is beet greens because they are toxic raw? And apple seeds because of the cyanide.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cookiepants

          I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't be safe raw, but it might be rather hard to digest if you're not a big raw brassicas eater.

          It's divine with spicy italian sausage and pecorino on pasta. I loooooove broccoli raab.

        2. A quick dip in boiling salted water for a minute (or two, depending on your liking), and then into an ice bath would be fine. What results is the rabe will taste peppery -- more peppery than bitter actually. The more raw you eat them, the more peppery they will taste. To describe it best, when left undercooked the rabe taste exactly like Chinese
          hot mustard. They'll have a nice crunch to them too. One caveat, stringiness.

          In New York, "Andy Boy" brand seems to be the best ... http://www.andyboy.com/products/broc_...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cheese Boy

            You nailed it! I'm remembering Marcella (yes) writing somewhere to do a quick blanch, drain and dress with good olive oil and some blanched and chopped garlic (a little only and not raw). I had it often in Italy but never raw and its a very seasonal vegetable but easily grown - easier than heading broccoli

          2. I just found out why I shouldn't eat rapini raw. I made a salad with some today, and it was delicious, but after about an hour of eating it, I was doubled over in pain in my stomach. It has taken all afternoon for it to finally start calming down. Apparently it is way to much roughage for my system. It must be too hard to digest raw. I will continue to eat it cooked, but never again raw!