What to do with Broccoli Rabe

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Featured at today's co-op: broccoli rabe. You might also know it as broccoli di rape or rapini. Or you might not know it at all, so listen up! Broccoli rabe is not to be confused with baby broccoli or broccolini which has less leaves and a sweeter taste. Here's a good explanation of the difference between the three, with pictures.

Broccoli rabe can be steamed, boiled, sauteed, or roasted. Perhaps the easiest and most common way to cook it is to boil the rabe in salted water for about 4 minutes. All of it is edible, but you'll want to peel or discard the tougher bits of the stem before cooking, and discard any tough looking leaves. 

NPR's Kitchen Window suggests pairing rabe with salty foods such as sausage, pancetta, anchovies and olives. It also goes well with sweet currants, raisins, and cherry tomatoes, or with tangy vinegars and lemon juice. Try it in a stir-fry over rice with soy sauce or served as a side dish with sesame oil garnished with toasted sesame seeds. 

Try this recipe for breakfast topped with a few of our farm fresh eggs (hint: we've got ground pork to go with it!) You can make it into lunch or dinner by adding some cannelini beans, or using it as topping on a homemade pizza. 

Broccoli Rabe with Ground Pork  

adapted from Food and Wine magazine 

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground pork 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley 
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated parm, romano or peccorino cheese
  1. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the broccoli rabe until nearly tender, 4 minutes. Drain and cool under cold water. Squeeze and pat dry, then chop.
  2. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the pork and cook over moderately high heat, breaking it up into small pieces, until browned. Add 3 more tablespoons of oil, the garlic and spices to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the broccoli rabe and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and toss. Serve with grated cheese.