Pour the olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet and add the garlic and raisins. Set it on the stove, but don’t turn on the heat yet. Fill a large (5 to 6-quart) pot with about 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
Rinse the broccoli rabe and discard any yellowed or discolored leaves. Line up the stems and cut a sliver off the bottom to remove the tired looking ends. Discard the ends. Cut across the stalks, leaves and flowers to make 3-inch lengths.
Add a couple of generous pinches of salt to the boiling water and toss in the broccoli rabe. Cook at a low boil for 2 to 4 minutes, until the leaves are wilted and the stalks are crisp-tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, turn the heat under the skillet to medium. As soon as the garlic starts to sizzle and the raisins soften (about one minute or less) add the broccoli rabe to the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and toss to mix the broccoli with the raisins and garlic . Serve immediately.
I am a home cook,author of a couple of cookbooks and mother. I write for the Boston Globe from time to time. My "kid" just left for college and comes home for cooking lessons. Too bad he was completely uninterested in the process (except when he was little and gingerbread was involved) until now. Without Mom to cook, he's very, very hungry. But it's fun to keep bonding over the stove.
I blog about food and life at www.sallypasleyvargas.com