Elevate your usual side of steamed broccoli by using its lesser-known, leafier cousin, broccoli rabe. Popular throughout Southern Europe and China, this leafy green veggie has a nuttier, more bitter flavor and is packed with nutrients. One of the best and simplest ways to prepare broccoli rabe is to steam it with nothing more than fresh garlic, a good extra virgin olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper.
As broccoli rabe has slight bitter undertones, pair it with an oil that has similar pungent notes such as a peppery Tuscan oil, like the wonderfully fruity Frantoio from Frantoio Pruneti; however if you’re looking for a sweeter oil to soften the bitterness of the greens try Sciroppo from Puglia, a monovarietal olive oil pressed from Peranzana olives.
- One bunch fresh Broccoli Rabe (about 1.5 lbs)
- 3-4 Cloves of Garlic, sliced
- 3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
- Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste
- Start by cutting off the drier ends of the broccoli rabe, then peel the tough outer layer of the stalks as you would for broccoli.
- Place the broccoli rabe in a deep saucepan, fill with water to wash, then drain, leaving the wet broccoli rabe in the pot.
- Next, add the sliced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat, cover and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.
- Remove from heat and serve in bowls.
If you’re unable to find broccoli rabe at your local supermarket, you can easily substitute with regular broccoli. Simply follow the recipe above, adding 3 extra tablespoons of water to the pot and cook for 10-12 minutes.