Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe is a favorite in my home. And what's not to like? It's simple to prepare and very flavorful. I especially enjoy the bitterness of it. My kids? Not so much. But I still give it to them hoping one day they'll understand why it's so good.

Follow these simple (and I stress, simple) steps to a perfectly cooked Broccoli Rabe.

For this recipe you'll need: One bushel of broccoli rabe, 3 garlic cloves sliced, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste. You may need some liquid like water, wine or stock.

Wash and cut the broccoli rabe into 2-3 inch pieces, discarded the woodier end pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the pepper flakes and garlic to the oil and lower the heat immediately. Add the broccoli rabe to the pan half at a time. The heat will quickly wilt the broccoli and the second half should be added once there is enough room in the pan for more. Once the broccoli rabe is wilted (a few minutes), continue cooking in the pan until the stalks are as tender as you like. To cut some of the bitterness, you may add a bit of liquid to the pan at this time to aid in cooking.

Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. In my opinion, there is no better accompaniment to broccoli rabe than sausage, but it's equally tasty in pasta dishes or even cold the next day.

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