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®.