Cooking From Every Angle

Broccoli Rabe: The Way I Like It

January 14, 2010 • 23 Comments

broccoli rabe

- Amanda

I love bitter greens but always assumed you should let their flavor stand alone as the outlier in a dish. A few years ago, however, I came across Broccoli Rabe in Lemon Cream in "My Italian Garden" by Viana La Place (the author most well known for "Unplugged Kitchen"). The cream softened the bitterness of the rabe, which wasn't a surprise, but a small squeeze of lemon juice transformed the dish -- brightening the mineral flavors in the greens and challenging their bitterness with acidity. Broccoli rabe and I started anew from that day forward.

Broccoli Rabe in Lemon Cream

Adapted from "My Italian Garden" by Viana La Place

Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe, stems trimmed, cut into short lengths
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • Buttered crostini

1. Cook the broccoli rabe in abundant salted boiling water until al dente, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain.

2. Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the rabe and stir well to coat. Add salt to taste and let the flavors meld over low heat for about 5 minutes.

3. Add the cream and lemon juice. Toss gently and let warm over low heat. Serve surrounded with crisp buttered crostini.

 

Jump to Comments (23)

Comments (23)

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over 4 years ago Maria R Becce

Amanda,
I cannot wait to try this recipe. Our family loves broccoli rabe, but I've only cooked it with olive oil and garlic. Your recipe will certainly add a whole new perspective on our favorite vegetable - thank you.

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over 4 years ago Hoskins Smith

I have loved broccoli rabe since reading Laurie Colwin's essay on it in her book, Home Cooking.
This recipe looks so good. I will try it this week.
Thanks

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I have to go back and re-read that because I don't recall it. Thanks.

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over 4 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Like everyone else, Yum, Yum! In Portugal Broccoli Rabe is the most traditional vegetable in winter, including being a MUST for the Christmas dinner. So much so that now you can find them all year round. If you go to any restaurant and ask for a side plate of greens, that's what they serve you. The traditional way of cooking it is blanched, like you have in your recipe, and then sautéed in Olive Oil with a whole garlic and served with a wedge of lemon. It's very nice because you still get the bitterness that is softened by the olive oil. The same recipe goes for Beat greens. Didn't even post this recipe as I thought it was too bland for your liking! Now I am amazed that you post this recipe and everyone is going YUM. Thanks for posting the recipe.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You should never be afraid to post a recipe -- we welcome all!

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over 4 years ago sabina

This is the way everyone else in my family may obsess over the near bushel of rapini I bring home from the farmer's market every week. I literally can't get enough of this plant. Thanks.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You're welcome -- it's definitely healthy feeling, even when doused with cream.

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over 4 years ago Ellen S

I actually love the bitterness of broccoli rabe and usually dress it with just butter and salt. But this sounds DIVINE. Luckily, I have all the ingredients on hand. . .

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope it was a success!

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over 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

Mmm, this is a great recipe. I've been sticking to the Broccoli Rabe recipe from I Loved, I Lost... now I'll have to try this, too.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

We should ask Giulia to weigh in!

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over 4 years ago Jennifer Ann

Mmmm - sounds great, thanks for the recipe and tips! I love almost everything broccoli, but could never figure out how to get over the sometimes overwhelming bitterness of rabe (which, for so long, I had thought was nothing more than pretty broccoli, and has always contributed the pungent taste to some fault in my preparation of it)

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over 4 years ago Jennifer Ann

I just tried the heavy cream and lemon juice trick with beet greens (I lightly sauteed first in a butter/olive oil mix). Very delicious.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

That sounds terrific, definitely going on my list. We eat a lot of beets.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Oh, I will have to try this! My husband might actually eat his vegetables.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

It converted my husband, who wasn't so fond of broccoli rabe before.

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over 4 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Just made this for dinner, doubled the cream and lemon juice and mixed it with pasta for dinner (one dish meals are very big in our household).
Thanks!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Wow, you're fast! And love the adaptation.

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over 4 years ago spinthebottleny

Love this--we usually do it with a ton of garlic and red pepper flakes, but this looks like a nice change of pace!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Your way is always good, too.

Winnie100

over 4 years ago WinnieAb

This looks great Amanda, and did you know that the acid in the lemon juice helps your body better absorb the minerals in the greens? 'Tis true!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I didn't know that -- interesting!

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over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Winnie, that's so cool - does the same hold true for other acidic ingredients like vinegar?

and amanda - great dish :) This will be a nice change of pace from my standard preparation.