We're in the dead of Winter, and that means lots of root veggies and hearty greens are at the farmers market. But there's one ingredient omnipresent during Winter markets that seems to create more than its share of culinary confusion: broccoli rabe. Also known as broccoli raab, rapini, rape, and broccoletti, this confusing little green is actually not related to broccoli at all; it's more of a close cousin to its fellow Winter veg, the turnip.
Broccoli rabe has an earthy, nutty, slightly bitter taste, which mellows out considerably as it cooks, and both the leaves and the broccoli-like buds are edible. Wondering what to do with this demystified plant? It's heavenly tossed into a pasta with garlic, chickpeas, and rosemary; it's also delicious simply sautéed and served as a side. Or get creative: my favorite broccoli rabe preparation involves sautéing it over high heat with spicy sausage, cannellini beans, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a little chicken stock, for a super flavorful one-pot meal.
How do you like to use broccoli rabe?
Source: Flickr User Maggie Hoffman