Broccoli lovers, listen up. If you’re a fan of this green, cruciferous vegetable, then you’re going to love rapini. Rapini, also known as broccoli rabe, hails from the Mediterranean region. Many believe that its modern day version first originated as a wild herb in either Italy or China. However, cultivators grow rapini in California, New Jersey, Ontario and Quebec today. This vegetable has been quite popular in a variety of cuisines from Italian, Chinese and Portuguese for many centuries. If you’re looking to introduce rapini to your cooking repertoire, our Rapini Saute is the recipe for you. We promise you won’t be feeling bitter over it!
Rapini Saute is a classic vegetable side dish often served with the contorni course of a traditional Italian meal. What Italians choose to serve during this course is dependent on seasonality. However, rapini often makes its star appearance during Spring. Rapini’s mildly bitter taste with its overtones of sweet mustard make it a dish best prepared with just a few simple flavors. Bell peppers, garlic, almonds and fresh basil, that’s all you need to transform rapini into something extraordinary. This simple saute has just the right amount of assertive flavors, crunchy textures and beautiful colors to make you say, “Ciao Bella!”
Although rapini may share its name with broccoli, it’s actually a member of the turnip and cabbage family. Rapini does contain some similar flavor notes as broccoli. Its appearance is also just as striking. Slender, dark green stalks topped by clusters of leaves and buds, what’s not to love? However, this vegetable is slightly more bitter and grassy than broccoli and a polarizing ingredient among those who aren’t unfamiliar. Nevertheless, if cooked properly with the right combination of flavors, you’re looking at a seriously amazing green to work with.
Rapini stands up quite well to hearty meat courses with strong, robust flavors. Serve this side dish with a New York Strip Steak with Caramelized Cipolline Onion Pan Sauce or Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks with DYPs®.
This Rapini Saute is a classic Italian vegetable side with plenty of flavors, colors and textures. Serve this alongside your favorite hearty meat dishes.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 Melissa’s Perfect Sweet Onion
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper (to taste)
- 3 cloves Melissa’s Peeled Garlic (minced)
- 2 bunches Melissa’s Rapini (ends trimmed; chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (diced small)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (diced small)
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds (lightly toasted)
- 10 leaves fresh Basil (cut into ribbons)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Heat the olive oil and melt the butter in a sauté pan.
- Add the onion, salt, pepper and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Add the rapini and cook until just crisp tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add the red and yellow bell peppers and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Stir in the juice from the lemon and remove from the heat.
- Stir in the almonds, basil and parmesan and serve.