Perhaps 15 years ago, broccoli rabe began to appear in some restaurants. Also called broccoli rape, raab (pronounced rob), rapini, Chinese broccoli and Italian broccoli in the U.S., it then became available in produce markets. Now, it’s a familiar friend to some people.
Descended from a wild herb, like many of our greens, versions of broccoli rabe originated in the Mediterranean and in China.
Although it bears the name “broccoli,” tastes like a bitter and pungent form of broccoli (think broccoli crossed with mustard greens with some nuttiness) and looks like a relative of broccoli—it has broccoli-like buds and florets at the top of slender stalks—broccoli rabe is not related to broccoli but turnips.
That’s why the leaves look like turnip greens and the vegetable is also called Italian turnip and turnip broccoli.
HOW TO SERVE BROCCOLI RABE
You can braise the rabe or add it to a stir-fry; but a quick sauté in olive oil with garlic is all you need. Then, serve this tasty green as a side, or as a topping for pasta.
We like to blanch it first to remove some of the bitterness.
Find more of our favorite vegetables and recipes.
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