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Broccoli Rabe

Made it at home for the 1st time last night and we loved it. Served it with chicken saltimbocca.

How I did it... Chopped and removed large stems. Blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes and then into ice bath. Drained on towel to remove most of the water. Sauteed with tons of garlic and finished with fresh grated parm.

I would like to make this for large family dinner so can I wash, prep, blanch and dry in the morning and saute that evening?

I appreciate any feedback or suggestions.

Thank you

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  1. So glad you enjoyed the rabe.... it's an acquired taste for some people but it's one of my favorite vegetables. In my thoroughly Italian family no one blanches the rabe before sauteing it. (I know many recipes say to do that but we never do/did) Also, we slice off about 1 inch from the bottom of the stem and that gets discarded. But, the rest of the stem is chopped and cooked with the florets and leaves. It's an easier prep and takes less time. Try it before you cook a larger batch to see how you like it. You have the sauteing down... we add some crushed red pepper flakes. Bon Apetito.

    1. The blanching is supposed to remove some of the bitterness from the rabe - I don't usually do it unless we are having company and I am worried about their fondness for bitter flavors. Always throw my chopped stems in the suate first of r a few minutes then the leaves since the stems take a little bit longer to cook. You can absolutely prep your greens ahead of time and saute at meal time! Enjoy! In Philadelphia we put it on roast pork sandwiches with provolone!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bigley9

        I haven't seen much difference in the bitterness with the blanching. Must try a side by side taste test next time.

      2. I planned to throw in some red pepper flakes but I forgot. I do the same with saute hericot verts.

        I blanched the rabe the 1st time so I could check bitterness level. I'll do the same for guests this weekend but next time will try w\o and straight saute. If not blanching then how long to saute?

        I chopped about 1" from bottom of stems but also picked out large stems but sounds like those are good to eat as well so I will leave them in next time. How long do you guys saute them for?

        If I ever get to Philly I am going straight to DiNic's!

        1 Reply
        1. re: boltsfan

          Make sure to get greens and cheese!
          I think they had a choice of greens so make sure you get the raab.

          Tony Luke's had a chicken cutlet with greens and cheese that was yummy too!

        2. I think that would work fine. I peel the large stems and always blanch the rabe first. I find the biggest trick is getting it good and tender without the tips getting mushy--a delicate balance.

          1. You could prep the rabe 2 days in advance or even 3. I do it all the time. I sometimes buy 2 bunches at a time (I don't find rabe at every grocery store here, so I strike when the iron is hot!) and prep them and keep covered in the fridge.
            I pull out what I need over several days and usually whatever is left over winds up in a frittata!

            3 Replies
            1. re: monavano

              You know, that's a very good idea. Prepping the rape in advance. This year our CSA gave wonderful root vegetables with fabulous leaves. I really had to hustle to use all the beet greens, daikon greens, etc. before they went over the hill. Then comes the next CSA basket. I'm going to try it your way now...

              1. re: Gio

                Once the prepped rabe/greens hits a hot pan with evoo, it's a new game! I generally add a crushed clove of garlic and pinch of pepper flakes. Top with grated cheese, of course!

                1. re: monavano

                  Right, that's my method too as I noted upthread. Thanks for the prepping idea though...!

            2. Try them tossed with some olive oil and salt and throw them on a grill. The leaves get all crunchy and stems and florets get wonderfully tender. I split the larger stems lengthwise to facilitate cooking..

              1. I always blanch by broccoli rabe, as my children won't eat it otherwise. I have done the blanching and ice bath ahead of time on many occasions and it works just fine. In fact, I rarely blanch and then immediately sauté.

                1. Try tossing with pasta or white beans too!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Bigley9

                    Orecchiette with rabe, anchovy, garlic and chili would be a classic Puglian dish.

                    1. re: fame da lupo

                      This is my favorite way to eat rabe, although I switch up the pasta shape from time to time and add a squeeze of lemon too! Yum!

                      1. re: fame da lupo

                        Never had with anchovies but is a favorite with sausage. Must try anchovies. Any special type?

                        1. re: melpy

                          just dissolve a bunch of anchovies into the oil you saute in , so the canned or jarred ones are fine - you don't want the ones in vinegar

                    2. Rabe, Italian sausage and polenta topped with marinara sauce, one of my all time favorite cool weather dishes. (But unless it is in pasta, for some reason I never put cheese on my rabe, except when it's tucked into a grilled mozzarella sandwich.)

                      1. A favorite vegetable. I don't blanch it before cooking, since, for me, the bitterness is what gives broccoli rabe its special character and makes it so much more interesting than plain broccoli. Your tolerance for bitterness may, of course, differ from mine.

                        Sometimes I saute the vegetable, as you did, but at other times I braise it. To do that, I give it a quick saute with some garlic in olive oil, just until the tops begin to soften, then add some liquid (stock, broth or even water), cover the pan and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Also, a few anchovies broken up and cooked with the broccoli rabe can enhance the flavor.

                        1. I tried it for the first time. I planned to make beef and broccoli using broccoli crowns but found that the broccoli rabe was cheaper, I am using fillet mignon which is marinating. The broccoli was made exactly the way you did. The problem is that I used a great deal of garlic in preparing the broccoli rabe and the recipe for the beef and broccoli requires some fresh ginger and scallions, Also, I will have to chop the broccoli in smaller pieces to accomodate the slices of beef, which is sauteed and the entire dish is sprinkled with a seasoning sauce, Let you know how it turns out.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: classylady

                            I have never blanched it either. We love it and have it almost weekly

                          2. Broccoli rabe is pretty cool. I have not tried what you suggested, but I don't really see a problem of wash prep blanch dry in the morning and than saute in the evening.

                            1. I do this all the time for use as a pizza topping. It will hold perfectly and indefinitely in it's blanched state.
                              Try it with any fresh cheese and hot pepper. Presently, I am addicted to oil packed calabrese peppers with broccoli rabe or broccolini, evoo and ricotta +/- fresh mozz. I do it on wood-fired oven pizza, but this combo would make an outstanding pasta dish, too.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: splatgirl

                                Now I want broccoli raab pizza for dinner. Sounds amazing!

                              2. I had to Google what "broccoli rabe" was, as I've never seen it in the shops - then I found it's what we would call "sprouting broccoli".

                                It's often on the plates with us during its main season in spring. Simply steamed and served with melted butter in the way you might serve the asparagus which follows it a few weeks later. Leftovers get a quick saute with garlic and top bruschetta.

                                1. I recreate a sandwich from a trip to San Francisco. French bread filled with the broccoli rabe sauteed w garlic and red pepper and olive oil and a smear of ricotta.

                                  1. The Broccoli Rabe advertising council should be paying us for this thread!

                                    1. Thank you everyone for the recipe ideas and info...

                                      1. We usually boil it for a few minutes in salted water, drain and then just toss with olive oil and lemon - Horta in greek (which just means boiled greens so we do other greens the same way). Our almost 3 yr old daughter loves it. We also do the pasta with anchovies, garlic and chili peppers - great inexpensive meal, although I usually use whole wheat penne because its readily available close to my house.

                                        1. If anyone cares to know ... when eaten RAW (or extremely close to raw), broccoli rabe tastes like it's been doused with Chinese HOT mustard. It has a certain pepperiness to it, and it's quite nice actually. I prepare a salad with just the florets this way. A 30 second blanch. Allow to cool (ice bath), and then add a light dressing of your choice.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Cheese Boy

                                            Very intriguing! I shall have to give this a try, as I love both Chinese hot mustard AND rapini :)

                                          2. i love brocolli rabe. i can never find it in grocery stores here.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: charles_sills

                                              I had to buy 3 large bunches yesterday after reading this thread again

                                              1. re: doberlady

                                                I usually double up when I find it. As I wrote above, I blanch prep it and keep it in the fridge. Lasts for a week or so!

                                            2. Here is my tip for blanching to remove the bitterness from broccoli rabe (sorry if this has been mentioned already but I don't have the time or patience to read all the responses) bring chicken boullion or chicken stock to a boil and blanch it in that for a few minutes. The chicken stock seems to do the trick with taking the "bite" out of the broccoli rabe.

                                              6 Replies
                                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                                      My kiss won't eat the full bite. I'm working them up to it :)