Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, is a green leafy vegetable loaded with tons of nutritional benefits. Despite its name, the broccoli rabe tastes quite different from broccoli. It’s much more “earthy” and tough whereas broccoli is soft, easy to chew, and has a more mild taste.
As an excellent source for both Vitamin A and Vitamin C, broccoli rabe is a healthy addition to any meal. It works great as a side dish for a large dinner or even as part of an omelet in the morning for breakfast. Broccoli being a green vegetable, there are many different ways to cook broccoli rabe.
A lot of it depends on what you plan to eat it with and your taste for different cooking styles. Below you’ll find a guide on how to prepare the vegetable for cooking and some different methods on how to cook it:
How to Prepare Broccoli Rabe for Cooking
When you buy broccoli rabe at your local grocery store or market, you’re probably going to get it in a bunch. When you get home and unwrap it, you’ll notice the long green stems with large leaves at the end of them. You’ll also see little florets that look like pieces of broccoli – there won’t be that many of these, but you should see at least a few in every bunch.
Your first step should be to run the vegetable under warm water and then shake it off; if it’s still really wet, you can dab it some more with paper towels. Next, cut off about an inch or so from the bottom stems. The very ends of these stems are exceptionally tough and fibrous and aren’t recommended for eating.
How to Steam Broccoli Rabe
Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to cook just about any vegetable out there. Since you’re using steam for cooking the vegetables, you lose very little of the precious nutrients that you would if you boiled or fried them, for example. To steam broccoli rabe, fill up a medium pot with a small amount of water. You’ll need just enough water to cover the bottom surface; if it dissipates, you can always add more.
Chop the broccoli rabe up into smaller pieces to make them fit into the pot and put the stove on medium heat. Once the water begins to turn to steam, the broccoli rabe should start to wilt reasonably quickly and be done in between 10 and 12 minutes. Season with some salt and lemon juice to add a little flavor and to cover up some of the earthy taste.
How to Saute (Pan Fry) Broccoli Rabe
Another tasty and healthy way to cook up some broccoli rabe is to sauté it. In my opinion, sautéing is just a fancy word for pan-frying. What you’ll need is a medium-sized frying pan, some olive oil, and two cloves of garlic (optional if you can’t stand garlic).
Coat the pain with some olive oil and throw in some finely diced garlic. Put the stove on medium heat and let the oil heat up for a few minutes. You can chop up your broccoli rabe into small pieces or put it in whole and then have to cut it up when it’s on your plate.
Next, add the broccoli rabe into the pan and stir every few minutes. After about 10-12 minutes on medium heat, your veggies should be ready. You’ll notice that they’re wilted down and dark green. Broccoli rabe is pretty hard to mess up, so if you’re a little under or a little over the 10-12 minute time frame, it’s no big deal! While you’re here, read our article on foods that are bad for your intestines.