Amidst the Sweetness: Simple Broccoli Rabe Saute

I’d like to juxtapose the enjoyable sweetness of yesterday’s post with a decidedly more bitter one today. Maybe, if you’re lucky, tomorrow I’ll even tell you about the candy bar cookies that I made the other week, as a sort of dessert chaser to this post.

Earlier in the semester, I made broccoli rabe for the first time, and I now have to say that this is definitely not a veggie for the little ones. Start them out on carrots, sweet peppers, squash before you attempt to put this bitter green on their plate. It’s a really good dish, plus it’s easy and fast to make – you just need to be able to appreciate the bitter flavor components of a food. I might like it even more with a dash of lemon juice and/or zest tossed in at the end to perk things up a little bit, but it isn’t entirely necessary.

If you’ve never tried broccoli rabe, give it a shot sometime. It may not be for everyone but it’s a nice change of pace from the vegetable rut that some people get in, sticking to the same safe few that they know for certain they like. But if we’re being honest here, I still have a soft spot for actual broccoli, and even the maturity I feel for being able to appreciate its younger brother (Rabe) from time to time can’t trump that.

Simple Broccoli Rabe Saute, courtesy of Avanti’s Recipes
Yield: 6 servings

The Ingredients
2 bunches of broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large cloves garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup (low sodium/no salt added) chicken/vegetable broth
½ teaspoon sugar
freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste (optional)

The Method
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and add in the garlic and red pepper flakes, allowing the flavors to infuse into the oil for approximately 30 seconds. Add in the broccoli rabe and season, optionally, with salt and pepper. As it wilts, add the vinegar, broth, and sugar. Continue cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated.

Optional: before serving, sprinkle with lemon juice.


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