How to cook broccoli rabe with perfection is a skill I only recently mastered. Lucky for me (and you) a dear family friend happens to be a master of Italian cooking. He was kind enough to teach me how to make the best tasting broccoli rabe ever.
Broccoli rabe (also known as rapini) just was not a vegetable I grew up eating. Actually, I had never even heard of broccoli rabe until after I graduated from college. These days, broccoli rabe is one of my most favorite vegetables.
But trust me, I know it is a somewhat intimidating vegetable to cook. In fact, even though I ordered broccoli rabe frequently in restaurants, for the longest time I avoided cooking it in my own kitchen. The few times I did try it turned out terribly bitter and just awful tasting.
Joe Shows me How to Cook Broccoli Rabe to Perfection
Joe Riti is not a trained chef, but I am not exaggerating when I tell you he is a master of Italian cooking. One of the things I am always incredibly amazed at is how effortlessly Joe seems to throw together the most delicious food in enormous quantities in record time. All while keeping the kitchen immaculately clean.
Many of the classic dishes Joe prepares are actually surprisingly healthy and based on very simple, super fresh ingredients. His recipe for broccoli rabe is no exception. It is really very basic and surprisingly easy to make. But when I tell you it is truly the best tasting, I am not exaggerating. It’s amazing and quite versatile too.
How to Cook Broccoli Rabe Perfectly
A quick note about garlic! The recipe below on how to cook broccoli rabe uses the whole bulb of garlic and no, this is not a mistake. One thing Joe has taught me is not to be afraid to use an outrageous amount of chopped garlic…the more the better.
Be sure to follow the directions perfectly — this will ensure a beautiful, flavorful and delicious broccoli rabe result.
What To Do With Cooked Broccoli Rabe?
Cooking broccoli rabe is one thing, but eating it is another. With just a smidgen of imagination, you’ll find cooked broccoli rabe can easily sneak its way into many a dish.
Joe said when he was growing up broccoli rabe was actually considered “poor folk” food and since his family did not have a lot of money he ate it rather frequently. Joe’s mom would actually pack him a broccoli rabe sandwich spread with ricotta. My personal favorite is toasted sprouted whole grain bread piled with sauteed broccoli rabe topped with a poached pastured egg—- pure bliss on bread.
Add Broccoli Rabe to a Pizza
You can also top your pizza with broccoli raab. If you don’t have time for fresh pizza, it is still delicious on top of whole grain pita pizzas or even gluten free English muffin pizzas.
Broccoli rabe is also one of my favorite potato stuffers. Nothing beats a baked potato for lunch stuffed with marinara and loads of broccoli rabe. And one of my all-time favorite ways to eat it is tossed with whole grain penne pasta, walnut “crumbs” and cannelloni beans. And of course you can always eat it straight up.
How to Cook Broccoli Rabe
How to cook broccoli rabe perfectly from a family friend who is a master Italian chef. The recipe is simple, healthful and delicious.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- 1 large bunch of fresh broccoli rabe
- 3 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 whole bulb of fresh peeled garlic, coarsely chopped
- Pink Himalayan sea salt, to taste
- Crushed red pepper, to taste
- Trim the thick tough stems from the broccoli rabe then rinse and pat very dry.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat; add the chopped garlic and sauté briefly, 30-45 seconds.
- Add the broccoli rabe, toss to coat in the oil and garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli wilts. After 3 minutes, add the remaining tablespoon of oil along with 1 tablespoon of water and salt and crushed red pepper to taste. Add an additional tablespoon of water ever 3 minutes or so, stirring each time. Cook broccoli rabe for about 20 minutes total or until it is very, very wilted. Adjust seasoning and serve.