Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Broccoli Rabe Done Right

Broccoli Rabe, aka Ripini or Raab, is one of those veggies that people seem to really either like or they don’t.  The very mention of it sends my husband, Dan, reaching for a second helping of whatever main course I made along side of it; just so he can say “I’m full” after he’s taken one bite of the green leafy side dish. 

His brother, Mike, on the other hand, could eat it every single day.  Go figure!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve ventured away (just a bit) from my healthy home cooking POV.  I think we all do that on the holidays.  But now it’s time to face reality and get back to healthy eating. 

Broccoli Rabe has many health benefits, including cancer-fighting agents.  According to one of my favorite informational websites, Suite101 “…It has a mere 20 calories per one cup raw, 3 grams of protein and 72 mg of vitamin C and 7.6 mg of beta-carotene. It is also a good source of vitamins A and K as well as potassium.”

Read more at Suite101:

Still, regardless of the health benefits, if you can’t make it taste good, those who just don’t like it will fill up on the garlic bread instead. 

Warm Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Salad

My recipe is simple.  I braise the ripini in a little bit of chicken broth to remove some of the bitterness.  I drain it.  I add it back to the pan with a good amount of good quality olive oil and minced garlic; a dash of sea salt, a little crushed red pepper and lemon juice round it out. 

The trick is not to overcook it so that it keeps its lovely green color.  Then I plate it and I add a few cannellini beans to the same skillet.  I sauté those for a few minutes -- and I top off the ripini. 

I’ve been searching the web for ideas on how to make this side dish in a way that my hubby would like it.  I’d like to hear some of your suggestions; especially if your recipe has won over a skeptic!
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