Broccoli Rabe (pronounced Broccoli Rob) is also referred to as rabe or rapini. This is another leafy green vegetable that is frequently eaten in Southern Italy and has become popular in the United States. The vegetable has a slightly bitter taste and is frequently steamed or lightly sauteed in olive oil.
Rapini has many spiked leaves that surround a green bud which looks very similar to a small head of broccoli. There may be small yellow flowers blooming from the buds, which are edible.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
Due to the toughness of the raw vegetable, broccoli rabe is usually steamed or sautéed prior to consumption. Remove an inch of the stems and peel the lower half of especially thick stems to avoid the toughest parts. Broccoli rabe makes an excellent side dish when sautéed with garlic and olive oil, and has enough flavor to compliment heavy, spiced entrées.
Conserving and Storing
Prior to washing, broccoli rabe can be stored in the refrigerator wrapped loosely in plastic for about three days. After cooking, it may be kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to two days. Freezing broccoli rabe is not recommended.
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