You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Some basic Italian we all can use


If you have been eyeing the bunches of broccoli rabe in your grocery store but passing them by because you are unsure how to cook this vegetable, here is your official cue to pick some up and discover something powerfully delicious and healthful.

The accompanying recipe is like Broccoli Rabe 101: a basic preparation all cooks should have in their back pockets to serve as a side for just about any Italian-style main, from pastas and pizzas to chicken piccata; to be piled on panini; or to be chopped and cooked into frittatas.

Broccoli rabe, also called rapini, is a more intensely flavorful, even more nutrient-packed cruciferous cousin of regular broccoli. Despite its name and appearance, it's not a type of broccoli but is more closely related genetically to turnip greens. Broccoli rabe has a mustardlike bitterness that becomes a mouthwatering taste dimension once mellowed by blanching the vegetable briefly before sauteing it with garlic in olive oil. That's all it takes to make this dish, which is an Italian restaurant standard and a staple in my home.

Although I typically avoid boiling vegetables in favor of steaming them - the more contact with water they have, the more water-soluble nutrients are lost - I make an exception for broccoli rabe. Steaming doesn't temper the bitterness quite enough for my taste. Just a minute in boiling water followed by a brief ice-water bath does the trick, and it is a step you can conveniently do several days in advance.

Interestingly, salting the water helps prevent nutrients from leaching out by creating a more even osmotic balance, but some salt will then be absorbed, so if you are watching sodium, cooking the broccoli rabe in unsalted water is fine. Either way, I figure you get more nutrients from a deliciously tasty vegetable eaten with abandon than from one that's not. This recipe is definitely the former, and a classic for a reason.

---

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe

4 to 6 servings (makes 3 cups), Healthy

MAKE AHEAD: The broccoli rabe can be blanched, cooled, drained and refrigerated up to 4 days in advance.

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons sea salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon (see headnote)

1 large bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced

Generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Steps

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of salt (see headnote). Fill a large mixing bowl with cool water and ice cubes. Line a large plate with a few layers of paper towels.

Trim off and discard about an inch from the ends of the broccoli rabe stems, then add the vegetable to the boiling water. Once the water returns to a boil, cook for 1 minute, then use tongs to transfer the vegetable to the ice-water bath just long enough to cool it completely. Transfer the vegetable to the plate.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring until it is just beginning to turn golden. Add the blanched broccoli rabe, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetable is warmed through and tender.

Serve warm.

Nutrition | Per serving (based on 6, using 1/2 teaspoon of salt): 80 calories, 2 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar

Author Information:

Ellie Krieger writes a healthful-eating column for Local Living and a weekly Nourish recipe for Food. She is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author and hosts public television's “Ellie's Real Good Food.” Her most recent cookbook is "You Have It Made: Delicious, Healthy, Do-Ahead Meals."

@Ellie_Krieger Washington Post Bio Download Mugshot More stories by Ellie Krieger


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

Willie Nelson away on his birthday? That’s OK, Trey Anastasio will play along
Willie Nelson away on his birthday? That’s OK, Trey Anastasio will play along

Willie Nelson turned 84 on Saturday. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman 2016 Out west at the annual Stagecoach Festival in the California desert, Willie Nelson celebrated his 84th birthday Saturday night with a show that included an all-star jam at the end featuring the likes of Neil Young, Jamey Johnson, Margo Price and X’s John Doe...
End of an era as Ringling Bros. gears up for last two shows 
End of an era as Ringling Bros. gears up for last two shows 

It’s the end of an era.  After 146 years, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding up the big tent forever, shuttering the ticket windows and putting the animals out to pasture. The circus has been a staple of American entertainment since the mid-1800s, wowing audiences with an array of exotic animals, breathtaking acrobatics...
This week’s music picks: Petty and Gary, Carrie and friends, Levitation Presents and more
This week’s music picks: Petty and Gary, Carrie and friends, Levitation Presents and more

Tuesday: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Gary Clark Jr. at Erwin Center. Outside of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, it’s hard to find a still-ticking act that’s more representative of classic American rock ’n’ roll than Petty and his longtime backing crew.
15 Austinites having more fun than you at Eeyore’s Birthday
15 Austinites having more fun than you at Eeyore’s Birthday

Eeyore’s Birthday Party, otherwise known as the yearly spring Saturday when Austinites gather in Pease Park to celebrate everyone’s favorite downtrodden donkey (and raise money for local nonprofits), hosted its 54th annual celebration Saturday. It’s an event that epitomizes “Keep Austin Weird,” promising fun costumes...
Website will help women self-induce abortions at home using medication
Website will help women self-induce abortions at home using medication

An international advocacy group concerned about restrictive laws in the United States plans to help women self-induce abortions at home, offering online advice and counseling about how to use medications that can terminate their pregnancies. Women Help Women, a 3-year-old organization headquartered in the Netherlands, this week launched an online service...
More Stories