Don’t Pass Over the Broccoli Rabe
NOTE: I recently bought some broc. rabe which, when prepared, was still too bitter to eat. Ugh. I asked some questions and found out that, DUH, it should be fresh rabe. If it is “aged” as most produce is these days, the bitterness remains and it’s a waste of money to buy. Fresh is important here, as always!
Broccoli rabe often gets passed over because people don’t know what to do with it. We think of it as a sexier alternative to broccoli—darker and a little bitter. It’s available nearly year-round and, like its cruciferous cousins, can be roasted, steamed, braised, or simply sautéed, as it is here.
- 1 pound broccoli rabe, ends trimmed and sliced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Fill a large pot with heavily salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook the broccoli rabe until the stalks are just tender when pierced with a knife, about 2 minutes.
- Drain the broccoli rabe and place in the ice water bath until cool. Remove, shake off excess water, pat dry with paper towels, and set aside. (If not cooking immediately, store in the refrigerator in a resealable plastic bag lined with paper towels for up to 1 day.)
- Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When it shimmers, add the shallots and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.
- Add the red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Add the reserved broccoli rabe and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning as needed, and serve.