Nice Spice! Grandma & Grandpa’s Sautéed Broccoli Rabe!
Now we’re venturing into one of my all-time favorite vegetable dishes. Sautéeing a head of broccoli rabe is my go-to when I want a quick pasta dish or side for steak or chicken or anything!
My cousin Lisa Lombardi is like me. We LOVE it thanks to our grandparents (see them with the WHOLE family minus little cousin Philip), who made it very often before it became “chic” on menus everywhere.
There’s a delightful bitterness to broccoli rabe that becomes sweeter as it cooks. Some people like to cook it until it’s “dead” as I’ve heard it referred to – dark green and soft. I like to keep it bright and cook it only until it’s fork-tender so the texture remains and there’s a great heartiness.
Broccoli rabe, or rapini, is commonly found in southern Italy, the land of my people! Ha! As much as people consider it related to broccoli, most likely because of the name it has in America, it is not. It’s more commonly related to the turnip, which are both in the Brassicaceae or mustard family.
Prepping it for cooking is easy. Rinse it well in cool water and trim the stems. You can cook it in whole pieces or chopped up, which is obviously my preferred method. You’ll find it commonly served with slices of Italian sausage and orecchiette – or elephant ears – macaroni in Italian restaurants and usually made starting with sautéeing garlic in the oil first. For those who don’t care for garlic (it is shocking to me but yes, I know people that feel about garlic as Dracula does), I wanted to show that you can enjoy broccoli rabe sans garlic and be really thrilled about it.
I don’t know about you but all this talk has made me hungry for some so I’m off to the kitchen! Yummmmmmmm!
- • 1 head broccoli rabe
- • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
- • 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
- • salt & pepper to taste
- Wash and chop broccoli rabe into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet and add broccoli rabe - it will overfill the pan but that's ok. Cover and cook on medium heat about 5 minutes. The broccoli rabe will shrink down.
- Season with red chili pepper flakes, salt & pepper, and remaining olive oil. Sauté uncovered for about another 5 minutes or until it's fork-tender.
- If you like garlic, chop up a few cloves and lightly sauté them in the oil before adding the broccoli rabe to the skillet. Be sure not to let them burn. Follow along with the rest of the recipe and enjoy!