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. —Amanda Hesser
1 1/2 pounds
broccoli rabe, stems trimmed, cut into short lengths
lemon juice, plus more to taste
In This Recipe
Cook the broccoli rabe in abundant salted boiling water until al dente, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain.
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.
Add the cream and lemon juice. Toss gently and let warm over low heat. Serve surrounded with crisp buttered crostini.
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.