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Sauteed Broccoli Rape

Updated July 06, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Cime di rape, sometimes called rapini, and most commonly called broccoli raab in America, is a member of the turnip family; despite that fact, it more closely resembles broccoli in appearance and in taste. The vegetable is interchangeable with broccoli in the classic orecchiette con sugo di rape (“little ears with rape sauce”), but rape has a uniquely bitter taste beloved by the Italians. Actually, the vegetable is more commonplace in the south of italy than in the north. It became part of my mother’s repertoire when she came to America, where she learned to cook it from my father’s mother, who had emigrated from Apulia. American cooks have a tendency to sauté this green without first boiling it because of the current aversion to boiling. This is a mistake, however, for boiling it briefly before sauteing rids it of excessive bitterness and tenderizes the stalks.

For6 people

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, healthy, high fiber, lactose-free, low carb, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturegarlicky

Type of Dishvegetable

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cime di rape (broccoli rabe)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, cut into small pieces
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Using a small, sharp paring knife, peel off the skin from the tough lower stalks of the rape (most of the bottom portion of stalk). Cut the rape into approximately 3-inch lengths and wash it well. Fill a saucepan three-fourths full of water and bring to a rolling boil. Drain the rape and add it and the salt to the pan. Cover partially and cook for 5 minutes after the water returns to a boil.

  2. Meanwhile, place the olive oil, garlic, and pepper flakes together in a cold skillet. Turn on the heat to low and sauté gently until the garlic starts to color (do not let it brown), about 5 minutes. Drain the rape and transfer it to the skillet (do not drain so thoroughly that the rape is dry; it should still be dripping somewhat when transferred to the skillet). Stir, cover, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes longer.

  3. Serve immediately.

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