What is Broccoli Rabe? (And How Should You Cook It?)
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.
Chef Gabe Thompson of NYC's new L'Apicio turns an Italian sandwich filling into a delicious side.
The ricotta in this delicious frittata mellows the bite of the broccoli rabe.
Related: Cavatelli with Sardinian Meat Sauce
Roasting broccoli rabe brings out its sweetness.
This vegetarian risotto gets a flavor boost from broccoli rabe puree.
Juicy roast beef and melty provolone cheese are incredible on a sandwich with bitter broccoli rabe.
Chef Ryan Hardy mixes garlic and chiles, along with fennel, into a satisfying tomato sauce that balances the bitter greens and adds lovely color, too.
This unusual side dish pairs broccoli rabe with funky black olives and bright lemon zest.
Chef Marc Vetri’s favorite Italian ingredients—homemade sausage, broccoli rabe and Fontina cheese—are great on pasta, but they make even better burgers.
Chef Gabe Thompson turns broccoli rabe into a healthy, peppery pesto that's delicious on toasted bread.