Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ingredient 6 – Broccoli Rabe

This week's ingredient goes by many names: broccoli rabe, rapini, broccoletti, and turnip broccoli.  Broccoli rabe is a green.  It bears little resemblance to the broccoli you find on veggie trays.  However, the association comes from the plant's flowers, which resemble single stocks of broccoli.  Broccoli rabe belongs to the genus brassica and is related to cabbage, kale, cauliflower and mustard.   This green is native to both the Mediterranean and China and is a common ingredient in both regions' cuisines.  When selecting broccoli rabe, look for leaves that are bright green.  Avoid leaves that are wilted, yellowing, or have bits of dark slime. 

Sautéed Broccoli Rabe Skillet
Serves 4
2 bunches broccoli rabe
1 15 oz can Cannellini beans
3 mild Italian chicken sausages
9 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup Asiago cheese
4 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Dash of salt
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Begin by bringing 3 to 4 quarts of salted water to a boil and place a large mixing bowl, half-full of cold water, in the freezer.  While the water is coming to a boil, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a covered skillet (medium heat).  Once hot, add the sausages, cooking them on each side for 4 to 5 minutes.  FYI - I covered the skillet because I wanted to ensure the sausages were fully cooked.

While the sausages are cooking, prep the rabe.  The prep is gloriously simple; rinse the rabe and cut off the bottom inch of the stems.  By the time the rabe is prepped, the sausages will be done cooking.  Place them on a plate to cool.
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When the pot of water has reached a a nice rolling boil, add 1/2 the rabe, cover the pot, and let it cook for 90 seconds.  After 90 seconds, remove the rabe from the pot with kitchen tongs, place it in the bowl of cold water you removed from the freezer, and let it sit in for 1-2 minutes.  Repeat the whole sequence with the other 1/2 of the rabe.
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In case you were curious, quickly cooking the rabe in hot water and then placing it in cold water removes the rabe's bitterness.  This cooking technique is know as blanching.

Once all the rabe had been blanched, gently press out the excess water and chop the rabe into bite sized pieces (1 to 1 and 1/2 inches).

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Next, dice the 9 cloves of garlic, sliced the sausages, and drain and rinse the canned beans.
Again heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a covered skillet (medium heat).  Once hot, add the garlic, cooking it until it is light brown (roughly 2 minutes).  Next, add the sausage and rabe, letting it cook 2 to 3 minutes, turning it occasionally.  Finally, add the beans, and red pepper flakes.  Gently mix the ingredients and cover the pot.  Let the contents cook on medium low heat for 4 to 5 minutes.

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Remove from heat, sprinkle the cheese on top, and serve.

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I was pretty happy with how this dish came out.  There was plenty of rabe and I am always disappointed when greens disappear into a dish.  The main downside to the dish was the number of dishes it created.  As for taste, it was good the first night but even better the next day when I reheated the leftovers for lunch.  Overall grade: B.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this looks yummy. Can't wait to start cooking again. I plan on trying all of these recepies. Keep them coming. Love this site.