How To Cook Broccoli Rabe

how to cook broccoli rabe

Adding dark, leafy greens to your diet is one of the best things you can do for your body because they give you a powerful dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. how to cook broccoli rabe

In this article, I will be featuring a leafy green super food called, broccoli rabe (pronounced “Brock-O-LEE rob”). I call it a super food because it is loaded with potassium, iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Broccoli Rabe is common in Hong Kong, but it is most known for its use in southern Italian cuisine. Don’t let the name fool you; broccoli rabe is not in the broccoli family. Believe it or not, it belongs to the turnip family, and you can eat the stems, leaves, and flowers.   how to cook broccoli rabe

When eaten raw, broccoli rabe has a bitter, nutty taste; however, the bitterness mellows after it is cooked.

 


What To Look For When Choosing Broccoli Rabe


Broccoli Rabe can be found in most grocery stores, and it is at its peak during the winter months. Choose broccoli rabe with bright green stems and dark green leaves. Broccoli rabe with yellowing leaves is old and should be avoided. Large flowerettes are okay, but small ones are best. 

how to cook broccoli rabe

 

 

 

 

 


How To Cook Broccoli Rabe


Steaming broccoli rabe is easy. how to cook broccoli rabe

  1. Remove the tough stems and wash well to remove sand and dirt. I like to fill my sink with cold water and allow the leaves to soak for 10-15 minutes. This allows the sand to float to the bottom. Discard any yellow or brown leaves.         
  2. Chop broccoli rabe into two inch pieces.
  3. Place broccoli rabe in a large pot or skillet. I like to use my WOK pan because it is deep and can hold several bunches of broccoli rabe.
  4. Add about 2 inches of salted water to the pan and allow to cook on medium heat until leaves reach your desired tenderness.

Broccoli rabe can be broiled, which makes it crisp with a great charred flavor. 

  1. Pre-heat broiler to high.
  2. Arrange broccoli rabe in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with 1 T of olive oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Broil 8 minutes, making sure to turn after 5 minutes.

Broccoli Rabe is delicious when sauteed with onions and garlic.

  1. Heat large saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tsp. olive oil, and swirl to coat the pan.
  2. Add 4 cloves of sliced or crushed garlic and a 1/4 cup of chopped onions. Reduce heat to low and cook until garlic and onions are soft and golden brown (about 8 minutes). You can add another teaspoon of oil if you think the onions and garlic are getting too crispy.
  3. After onions and garlic become soft and fragrant, add broccoli rabe and raise heat to medium high.
  4. Stir constantly so the leaves wilt evenly. Saute until broccoli rabe is wilted enough for your taste (about 2-5 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat and taste to adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
  6. Serve as a side dish or use in your favorite broccoli rabe recipe.

Are You Ready To Try One Of My Favorite Broccoli Rabe Recipes? Let’s Get Cooking!


Traditionally, this dish is served over pasta; to make a healthier version, I have replaced the pasta with spaghetti squash. The bitter taste of the broccoli rabe is a perfect match for white beans and turkey sausage, and the squash adds a touch of sweetness. 

How To Roast Spaghetti Squash How To Roast Spaghetti Squash

 

 

 

 

  1. To prepare spaghetti squash, cut a 3-4 pound spaghetti squash in half. Remove the seeds and drizzle with about a table spoon of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to your taste.
  2. Place squash, cut side down, on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until you can easily poke a fork through the skin. Baking time will depend on the size of your squash. 
  3. Flip the squash; it should be golden brown around the edges. Using a fork, scrape the flesh to create long strands.

Let’s Get Cooking


how to cook broccoli rabe

Broccoli Rabe With Turkey Sausage, White Beans, And Spaghetti Squash

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Kathy

The bitter tasting broccoli rabe is a perfect match for white beans, turkey sausage, and spaghetti squash.

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe 2 large bunches
  • 1 pound turkey sausage
  • 1 15 ounce can small white beans 1 1/2 cups
  • 3-4 large cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
  • 1 3-4 pound spaghetti squash roasted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

To Prepare Sausage

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil (about 1 tsp) to the pan and swirl to coat the pan.

  2. Add fennel seeds and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute), stirring constantly to prevent them from burning.

  3. Add sausage and break apart with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook sausage for about 5 minutes and add garlic. Continue cooking until sausage is browned and no longer pink. 

How To Cook Broccoli Rabe

  1. Remove the tough stems and wash well to remove sand and dirt. I like to fill my sink with cold water and allow the leaves to soak for 10-15 minutes. This allows the sand to float to the bottom. Discard yellow or brown leaves.

  2. Rough chop broccoli rabe into 2 inch pieces.

  3. Place broccoli rabe in a large pot or skillet. I like to use my WOK pan because it is deep and can hold several bunches of broccoli rabe.

  4. Add about 2 inches of salted water to the pan, cover, and allow to steam on medium heat until leaves reach your desired tenderness. Do not drain water, it will help to make a tasty juice when you add the sausage and beans.

  5. Add sausage and beans to steamed broccoli, stirring gently to mix well. Cover and cook on low heat until heated through (about 5 minutes). Serve over roasted spaghetti squash.

How To Roast Spaghetti Squash

  1. To roast spaghetti squash, cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt. pepper, and Italian seasoning to your taste.

  2. Place squash cut side down, on a cookie sheet. Back at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a fork goes easily through the skin.

  3. Flip. The squash should be golden brown around the edges. Using a fork, scrape the flesh to create long strands.

What about you? Do you have a favorite way to prepare broccoli rabe? Leave a comment below and let me know. If you try this recipe, be sure to let me know how it turned out for you.

Do you want other broccoli rabe recipes? Contact me here, and I will send some of my other favorite recipes right to your inbox.

Kathy

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Author: Kathy

Hi! Welcome to In Abbas Kitchen! I would love to sit with you at my dining room table, getting to know you while we sip hot cups of tea and nosh on slices of warm banana bread. However, since that won't be possible, I'll settle on letting you get to know me.I am passionate about loving God with all of my heart, mind, body, and soul. I love to laugh at myself and with people. I believe laughter is contagious, and it establishes a sense of connection between two people. I love heart-to-heart chats with friends and loved ones because I believe transparency is the foundation of all meaningful relationships. I believe in the power of prayer; God listens. I try to see the good in people, even if I am the only one who can see it. I enjoy food; my food philosophy is to eat clean, whole foods while maintaining proper portion control. I work hard to maintain a realistic balance between healthy salads and not so healthy coffee mocha chunk ice cream. :) I believe moderation is the key to creating lasting healthy eating habits.At In Abba's Kitchen, you will find healthy recipes, Bible studies designed to inspire you to grow in your faith, ideas for wholesome living, and product reviews for my favorite kitchen tools and foods I use. You will also find my weight loss story.Although weight loss is not the basis of this site, it is a major component of my life. My weight loss journey has inspired the creation of this site, and it has given me a new found freedom and confidence. My desire is to walk with you on your journey, helping you with your weight loss struggles, inspiring you to grow in your faith, and helping you to find freedom from the things holding you back from being all you were meant to be.

6 thoughts on “How To Cook Broccoli Rabe”

  1. I loved your website and having recently resurrected my new year resolution I’ve been looking for new and interesting ways to prepare vegetables.

    Interestingly Ive not heard of broccoli-rabe before, so Ive learnt something new today in my quest!

    Thanks for sharing this post and Ill definitely be looking out for this on my next trip to the supermarket, Considering it isn’t a member of the broccoli family though I hope I don’t cause confusion !

    1. Hi Mel,

      I’m glad you found the article useful. You won’t confuse broccoli rabe with broccoli; most supermarkets keep it with the other greens they sell–greens such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard. I wish you well on your quest to each more vegetables. To quote my mama, “Eat your vegetables. They are good for you.”

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Kathy

  2. Hello Kathy,

    I love anything to do with food. As someone who as cooked since they were 14, opened a restaurant, traveled and experienced different cultures and their food I always get excited about food. Broccoli rabe is a very tricky food and those who experiment with this vegetable either like or dislike it. I think most don’t realize how bitter it can be and what ingredients can help reduce the bitter flavor while not taking away from the healthy benefits it offers. I love how you did this post, your recipes, and all. Maybe you could provide some pictures while cooking, prepping and garnished on a plate highlighting the food. Great post and keep up the great work.

    Mario

    1. Hi Mario,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I will certainly keep your suggestion in mind as I prepare my next recipe for posting. I agree. I don’t think most people realize how bitter it is. I had never heard of it before until I married my husband, who is Italian. Broccoli rabe was one of his dad’s favorite dishes. My mother-in-law always served it over pasta with a HUGE chunk of Italian bread to soak up the juices. Over the years, I have experimented with other dishes, which I plan to share here on my site.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Kathy

  3. Hi Kathy,

    I love Broccoli its one of my favorite vegetables, so this post grabbed me straight away. Initially i thought it may have been another take off like broccolini, but if its part of the turnip family obviously not.

    I’m definitely keeping an eye out for this one next time i go to the growers markets. If i can’t find it there where would you suggest looking? as i haven’t seen Broccoli Rabe before (given i have never looked for it).

    Also have you used it in a fresh juice before?

    1. Hi Corrieb,

      Broccolini is a a cross between regular broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It has a milder, sweeter taste than regular broccoli.

      I live in New York state (USA), and I am able to purchase broccoli rabe in my local super market, especially this time of year. It is considered a winter vegetable. I have never found it at my local farmer’s markets because they mainly carry seasonal fruits and vegetables, and they close here for the winter months.

      You could try asking your market’s produce manager about getting some in. I have gone this route with other products, and they have brought in what I have asked for.

      Oh my goodness! I have never thought about using broccoli rabe in a fresh juice before! Because of it’s bitter taste, I would imagine it would make the juice very bitter. Perhaps juicing it with sweet fruit would help counteract the bitterness.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Kathy

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