Also known as rapini, broccoli rabe is not just the scraggly outcroppings of a broccoli plant or baby broccoli, like you might think. In fact, the leafy, cruciferous vegetable is closely related to the turnip. The deliciously bitter stems, leaves and nutty, broccoli-esque buds are all edible and commonly used in Italian cooking—you’ve probably seen it paired with pork and Provolone on Philadelphia’s other famous sandwich.
Don’t be daunted by the vegetable’s wild and unruly appearance; broccoli rabe is easy to cook. It’s great simply blanched and sautéed in olive oil, roasted until crisp or even pureed into a piquant pesto. Here, nine fantastic recipes for broccoli rabe.
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Chef Gabe Thompson of NYC's new L'Apicio turns an Italian sandwich filling into a delicious side.