What is Broccoli Rabe? (And How Should You Cook It?)

© Andrew Purcell
Photo: © Andrew Purcell

Broccoli rabe — also known as rapini — isn't just part of the broccoli plant, and it's not just baby broccoli. 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, easy to cook, and often sautéed, braised, and roasted in Italian dishes. Recipes like Cavatelli with Roasted Broccoli Rabe and Harissa and Broccoli Rabe Burgers show the vegetable's versatility. Read on for these and more fantastic recipes for broccoli rabe. (And if you were wondering, it's pronounced "rob.")

01 of 05

Open-Face Cheese Toasts with Broccoli Rabe Relish

Open-Face Cheese Toasts with Broccoli Rabe Relish
© John Kernick

This simple recipe from Stephanie Izard (F&W Best New Chef '11) comes together in minutes. Fish sauce and malt vinegar give a punch of umami to the broccoli rabe while sharp cheddar cheese blankets everything in an extra level of sensory bliss.

02 of 05

Broccoli Rabe and Ricotta Frittata

Broccoli-Rabe and Ricotta Frittata
© Ben Dearnley

Though frittatas are often served cooled as a first course, they make an equally good main dish, either warm or at room temperature. Here, ricotta mellows the bite of broccoli rabe.

03 of 05

Cavatelli with Roasted Broccoli Rabe and Harissa

Cavatelli with Roasted Broccoli Rabe & Harissa
© Con Poulos

Many cooks sauté or braise broccoli rabe, but roasting brings out its sweetness even more. Cookbook author Michael Natkin uses this technique for a fast pasta with cavatelli, smoked paprika, and harissa.

04 of 05

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Burgers

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Burgers
© Tina Rupp

Ground pork, veal, beef, and minced pancetta form juicy sausage patties that chef Marc Vetri (F&W Best New Chef '99) loves with pasta, but contends are even better as burgers. Add broccoli rabe, fontina cheese and you have a winner of a meal.

05 of 05

Broccoli Rabe and Avocado Salad with Lemon Dressing and Herby Molten Eggs

Broccoli Raab Salad Recipe | FWCooks
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop styling by Audrey Davis

Warm, roasted broccoli rabe gets tossed with diced avocado, pistachios, and chives to start this herbaceous salad. The dressing gets its silky texture from a whole egg yolk. The secret to the slow-simmered "molten eggs" on top is to roll them in chopped parsley for a dramatic presentation.

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