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All questions

I got a back of rape leave (canola plant leaves) in my CSA this week. What should I do with them?

I haven't been able to find much information about cooking with them online. Have you ever cooked them? Any ideas on how to use them? I also got some of the little buds.Thanks for your help!

asked by CarlaCooks over 2 years ago
12 answers 4316 views
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added over 2 years ago

Try a few things, play around with it. Try toasting some and see what flavor evolves. Try sautéing some I'm butter, marinate, crush up with a pestsl. Whenever I get new ingredients or free samples I also experiment. It's best way to
Develop your own culinary profile and learn first hand what works with what. Sorry if that isn't much help

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added over 2 years ago

Wow, trampledbygeese, I had no idea there was a difference! I live in Denmark, and the Danish word for what I got is calls Raps, which (according to my Danish-English culinary dictionary) is rape. However, I don't think my CSA is trying to kill me :) I've read that outside of Northern Europe, canola is called rapeseed (something about the name being changed in N. America in the 70s due to the sexual assault connotation of the name), so perhaps what I had in my fridge is merely European canola? I think I will blanch them and add to a stir-fry tonight.

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trampledbygeese

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

I love the name change myth. It's actually one of my favourites. It's a great example of public re-education. They didn't want to associate rape with poor health as that association might transfer to CANOLA. Or so my interpretation of what I read is.

I know certain kinds of rape have been used by humans for a long time now, but which kinds, and used how? There isn't much documentation pre 1800s. The kinds used in the 19th through 20th Century are ones that do well in a monoculture setting and these are the ones that are thought to have caused harm. But they are probably different than the ones used historically. My feeling is that there isn't enough reliable data available, but that eating small quantities probably won't cause harm. Also it could be that rape refers to a larger category of crops in Europe than it does in North America.

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trampledbygeese

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

PS, let us know how it tastes.

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added over 2 years ago

Are you sure that what you got isn't RAPINI, also called broccoli rabe among other names?

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added over 2 years ago

Sorry, meant to write 'outside of North America'.

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

trampledbygeese, I don't have an opinion but wanted to say thanks for taking the time to share such comprehensive information.

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added over 2 years ago

Cookbookchick, I think you're right! I looked up an image of rapini and it looks exactly like what I have! Odd that my dictionary didn't translate it as such (and the dictionary did say rape, not rabe). I added the rapini to a stir fry after first blanching it for a few minutes in salted water.

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added over 2 years ago

Aha! One of my favorite vegetables! My family especially love it in a dish I make with sausage and orecchiette. And what you did is exactly what I do -- a quickish blanch in salted water before I cook with it. I sometimes freeze it after blanching as I like having it on hand and ready to use. Enjoy!

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trampledbygeese

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Oh, I love rapini! So much yummier. I'm just sad I didn't grow any over winter this year.

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added over 2 years ago

I suspected that you might have rapini! In my neck of the woods--Garmisch-Partenkirchen--it is called Rappa and none of the locals know what it is--or want to eat it. When I first started looking for it, the shopkeepers tried to give me grappa. I have to go to the Turkish or Greek green grocers to find it and when I emerge with a bunch in hand, I feel quite triumphant.

There are lots of Italian recipes, particularly from Puglia. Here is my favorite way to prepare rapini: saute onions, pepperocini, and garlic in olive oil along with diced bacon or some other tasty pork, add the rapini, which has been washed and chopped, then let cook until the rapini is tender. If you don't want to use pork, anchovies are a good substitute. This stands alone as a vegetable, or you can serve over farro, polenta, or pasta. Open a good Negroamaro, Primitivo or Nero d'Avola to accompany.