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Broccoli and Rapini with Lemon and Shallots

Broccoli and Rapini with Lemon and Shallots

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  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided
  • 1 cup chopped shallots, divided
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 pounds rapini (broccoli rabe), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Recipe Preparation

  • Melt 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 cup shallots and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel in very large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté 2 minutes. Mix in broccoli and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle with salt. Cover; cook until broccoli is crisp-tender and water evaporates, about 4 minutes. Transfer broccoli to bowl; cover to keep warm.

  • Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter with remaining shallots and lemon peel in same skillet over high heat; sauté 2 minutes. Add rapini. Sprinkle with salt, cover, and cook until rapini wilts, about 2 minutes. Uncover and sauté until tender, about 1 minute longer. Mix into broccoli. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe by Jeanne Thiel KelleyReviews Section

Huynh Win recipes

This is a really tasty vegetable dish that I had at my mom's house just the other night. She found the recipe online and we made a few adjustments. We used frozen broccoli florets instead of fresh and spinach instead of rapini. I made this again at home for my family and the 2nd time, I used fresh broccoli florets and less butter than the original recipe called for, which was half pound of butter, it still came out delicious.

1 1/2 pounds of broccoli florets (frozen or fresh)
1 1/2 pounds of spinach (we used fresh)
3 teaspoons of lemon zest
2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped shallots
4 ounces or 1 stick of butter
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

1) On medium high, heat a large saute pan & melt 2 ounces(1/2 stick of butter). Add 1 1/2 tsp of lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of shallots to the hot melted butter.

(If you don't have a zesting tool use a paring knife, a potato peeler, or a grater to take off the yellow part of the rind. Try not to get to much of the white of the rind. If you are using a knife or peeler to remove the zest, you will need to cut those pieces to a smaller size.)

2) Saute lemon zest and shallots until shallots start to lightly brown. Add broccoli and saute for 3 minutes and then add the water and cover pan with a lid. If you are using frozen broccoli remember, that it is already cooked and all you are doing is heating it through again, so don't over cook it. Once the broccoli is done remove it from the pan and put it in a bowl.

3) In the same saute pan put the remaining butter, melt, and then add remaining zest and shallots. Once the shallots start to lightly brown add the spinach. Cook the spinach until it wilts. You will probably not be able to fit all the spinach in your pan at once so, as the spinach wilts down, add more to the pan. If you have a pair of tongs this is the best utensil to use for this.

4) Once the spinach is done, add to broccoli, season with salt and pepper to your taste, toss everything together and eat it.

Side Note: This would also be great to do with asparagus, summer squash, peas, or zucchini.

You Don't Have To Be Italian To Eat Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe may resemble broccoli, but its distinctive flavor is closer to turnips, mustard greens and kale.

Recently during a phone call with my mom, I mentioned that I was going to make broccoli rabe for an upcoming dinner party.

"Oh, no, honey, you can't serve broccoli rabe," she said.

Broccoli rabe was a staple at every Sunday dinner and appeared at least one other time midweek, topping pizza, smothering a veal cutlet. . My mom made it all the time for our family but not for company. It was too risky.

"Because, you know, broccoli rabe has a distinctive flavor," and she whispered "distinctive" like someone would whisper "cancer" at the dinner table.

It's difficult for me to imagine anyone not liking broccoli rabe, a green vegetable known for its distinctive bitter flavor. Growing up in Italian-centric Rhode Island, broccoli rabe was everywhere -- at markets large and small, on restaurant menus and in most people's refrigerators.

Broccoli rabe was a staple at every Sunday dinner and appeared at least one other time midweek, topping pizza, smothering a veal cutlet or nestled inside a crusty Italian roll with grilled Italian sausage. My mom made it all the time for our family but not for company. It was too risky.

Broccoli rabe originated in the Mediterranean and China and today is grown throughout the world. It features prominently in both Italian and Asian cuisines, particularly in Southern Italy and Hong Kong.

It has taken a while for Americans to embrace this full-flavored vegetable, but thanks to popular chefs such as Lidia Bastianich, a grande dame of Italian-American cooking, broccoli rabe has become more mainstream in the past couple of decades.

Once people start cooking with broccoli rabe, they realize it's remarkably versatile. As well as making a delicious side dish, it's a robust addition to sandwiches, pizzas, calzones, crostini, pastas, frittatas and soups.

About The Author

Susan Russo is a food writer in San Diego. She publishes stories, recipes and photos on her cooking blog, Food Blogga. She is working on two cookbooks (Quirk Books) that will be released in the fall. When she isn't writing about her Italian family back in Rhode Island or life with her husband in Southern California, she can be found milling around a local farmers market buying a lot more food than two people could possibly eat.

Although broccoli rabe is in the same genus as broccoli (Brassica), it's more closely related to the turnip, so its flavor is akin to turnips, mustard greens and kale. It does resemble broccoli, though -- or, rather, its more attractive cousin: Svelte, dark green stalks are topped with small, tight clusters of green broccoli flowers and dramatic, spiky leaves.

Perhaps more than any other vegetable, broccoli rabe is known by various names, including rapini, broccoli raab (pronounced rob), raab, rape, rapa, broccoli di rape and rappi. In the U.S., it is most commonly called broccoli rabe or rapini. It is not, however, the same thing as broccolini or baby broccoli, which are much sweeter.

Broccoli rabe's peak season runs from late fall through late spring, though it's available at most major supermarkets year-round. When selecting broccoli rabe, look for richly colored dark green leaves and firm, green flower clusters. Avoid bunches with yellow- or brown-tinged leaves, yellow flower clusters or woody stems, all signs that the vegetable is old.

All parts of broccoli rabe are edible, but stalks should be trimmed. Broccoli rabe can be steamed, boiled, sauteed and roasted. I generally prefer to parboil and "shock" broccoli rabe before sauteing it. Simply boil the broccoli rabe for two minutes. Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water for three to five minutes. Drain and squeeze to release excess water. This helps maintain its vivid color, reduce bitterness and make it more tender.

To balance broccoli rabe's bitterness, do not add sugar, which creates an unpleasant flavor. Instead, pair it with salty, sweet or acidic foods that naturally reduce bitterness and enhance flavor.

Salty foods such as sausage, pancetta, anchovies and olives have an affinity for broccoli rabe. Sweet currants, raisins and cherry tomatoes are natural pairings, as are tangy vinegars and lemon juice. Broccoli rabe is also wonderful with various meats and seafood, such as chicken, veal, sausage, sardines and halibut.

Perhaps the simplest way to serve broccoli rabe and appreciate its assertiveness is to saute it with olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. My family's favorite recipe for sauteed broccoli rabe includes kalamata olives and toasted pine nuts. Sun-dried tomatoes, raisins and fennel seeds are also flavor boosters.

The next time you're planning a dinner party, be bold and serve broccoli rabe for even your best company. Just don't tell my mom.

Pasta with garlicky broccoli rabe

In my humble opinion, there’s cooking and there’s cooking. (I know, I’ll just give you a minute for the staggering profundity of that sentence to kick in.) What I mean is, it’s one thing to turn banana bread into a crepe, that crepe into a cake, that cake into a vehicle for walnut butterscotch, drooling, diet-postponing, and seconds, and it’s an entirely other thing to find yourself at the playground at 5:15 p.m. and realize a) you don’t actually have anything in the fridge that you can turn into dinner, b) you, in fact, barely feel like cooking, in fact, your interest in cooking is only a single degree stronger than your desire to order in, so this better be easy, and c) the adjacent farmers market which you have heard from others boasts ramps and asparagus and spinach and other new! spring! delights! in fact, at the tail end of the day, boasts few things aside from a straggler of a single bundle of broccoli rabe. And you like broccoli rabe, you’ve warmed to it quite a bit since you’ve accepted it into your life, but you hardly excel in turning it into a lightning-quick, lazy, and completely satisfying dinner (or LQLACSD for short).

Or, I didn’t before last Wednesday afternoon. This thing where you can grab anything at random without a shopping list in hand or recipe in mind and transform it effortlessly into a LQLACSD, this is real cooking. This is what separates those grandmothers that cranked out dinner like clockwork every night for 60 years, that didn’t throw in the towel because they only had canned peas and stale rice in the pantry, from the dilettantes. And people? Over 750 recipes into this site, I’m still getting there. Sometimes a simple recipe, one that you make once and instantly memorize and throw into the dinner rotation, helps.

And this is how by 6 p.m. I had I turned that bundle of broccoli rabe — a vegetable I love but don’t have a sixth sense for, at least not yet — into my new favorite pasta dish. I found inspiration in a 2006 recipe from Gourmet, showered it with punchy romano cheese, and retired for the evening with happy bellies and only a few dishes to wash. It is dinner, salad and a vegetable dish in one. It is quick. It could be dolled up in any number of ways — toasted breadcrumbs, minced capers or green olives, some ricotta — but it needs none of these to delight. To be dinner tonight, but 20 minutes after you bring home the groceries on a day too lovely to be fiddling over the stove. Hallelujah.

Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
Adapted, just a smidge, from Gourmet, September 2006

The original recipe calls for spaghetti, but I prefer short, chunky pastas that are spear-able by toddler forks. I fell for a “toscani” shape, though it also looks like campanelle, “little bells.” I think it looks like pretty, pretty locks of hair.

So, unless I think the texture of a salt really makes a difference in a dish, I usually default to table salt in my recipes, because it’s cheap and everyone keeps it around (and, better that someone uses a coarse salt for a table salt volume and undersalts a dish than the other, irreversible, way around). But! Not here. Please don’t use table salt. Most table salt is iodized and that iodine can turn your garlic a weird bright blue/green color. It will still be safe to eat but look… disturbing. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

1 pound pasta, whatever shape you like (but chunky ones will match up better with the rabe)
1 pound broccoli rabe, heavy stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 1- to 2-inch sections (I attempt to match my pasta in length)
1/2 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more or less to taste
About 1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)

To serve: Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (omit, of course, if keeping the dish vegan)

Bring a huge pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain rabe and pasta together and pour into serving bowl. In the same pot or a tiny one, heat the olive oil with the garlic, pepper flakes and Kosher salt over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic becomes lightly golden. Pour mixture over pasta and toss to evenly coat. Shower with freshly grated cheese and eat at once.

Broccoli and Rapini with Lemon and Shallots - Recipes

If you haven’t tried the combination of Italian sausage with roasted with grapes yet, I’m quite certain that the minute you do this combo it will win you over. The grapes break down in the roasting process, releasing their sweet juice and mingles together with the sausage flavors of spice, fennel, bit of olive oil and thyme.

When grapes are roasted they take on a whole different taste and texture, sweet goodness in every little bite.

I like to keep my sausage formed into a ring, it’s held in place by sticking one skewer in on one side until it pokes out on the other side, making sure to go all the way through each layer, this will keep it together as it cooks. I think a ring of sausage, or rope as it’s sometimes called adds to a pretty presentation, but you can certainly make this using links of sausage as well.

Which brings me to another point, make sure you only buy good quality Italian sausage, I get mine from an Italian market that I know and frequent often, it’s spiced perfectly with fennel seed being a very dominant flavor, my favorite. For this recipe you can use either spicy or mild sausage, which ever is your preference.

My grapes of choice are the red seedless kind ( you definitely want seedless) but you can also do a combination of both red and green, just carefully pick them off the stems, rinse and dry completely then you’re good to go!

I love to serve this meal with sautéed broccoli rabe, the bitterness of the rabe with the sweetness of the grapes and the spice of the sausage is a win, win. For something a little more substantial, on a cold winters night a side of creamy polenta or mashed potatoes would be heavenly!

Incredibly easy to make, no chopping required, it’s a one pan wonder with a pretty presentation and the most important thing is, it tastes amazing.

Follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

It goes by several names—broccoli raab, rabe, rapini—but no matter what you call it, the zesty, bitter flavor of this vibrant green vegetable is nothing short of addictive.

Only distantly related to broccoli, raab is adored in Italy. All its parts, from the deep-green toothed leaves to the slender stalks to the small florets, are edible, making it a versatile addition to all sorts of dishes.

Buying and storing: Unless you’re shopping at a farmers’ market (where you might find it loose), broccoli raab is usually sold in bundles weighing about a pound. One pound yields four servings as a side dish. When buying, look for deep, bright-green color, crisp stems, and fresh leaves. Store it unwashed in the crisper drawer for up to a few days.

Prepping: Rinse a bunch of raab by dunking and swishing in cold water and then shake off the excess moisture. Trim about 1/2 inch off the stems, or more if they seem tough. Discard any loose leaves, especially those from the outside of the bunch that look battered.

To blanch or not: Some people delight in broccoli raab’s full, undiluted flavor I find that blanching tempers the bitter note to a more pleasing level and allows other flavors to have their say. To blanch, drop trimmed (but uncut) broccoli raab into boiling salted water. After two minutes (even if the water hasn’t returned to a boil), drain and refresh under cold water. This step can be done well ahead of cooking the final dish, and from this point the vegetable requires only a few minutes of steaming, boiling, or sautéing.

How to serve it: The intense, somewhat nutty taste makes raab a distinctive foil for other assertive flavors. Classic Italian partners include garlic, red pepper flakes, anchovies, tangy black olives, sausage, sharp cheeses, and fruity olive oil. For an Asian profile, use garlic, red pepper flakes, and ginger, with splashes of soy sauce and sesame oil or oyster sauce. You can’t go wrong with citrus zest and juice. At the other end of the spectrum, bland or starchy foods such as eggs, pasta, potatoes, beans, and grains provide a neutral canvas for broccoli raab’s punch.

Rapini goes so well with fish, we eat it on Christmas Eve as part of our traditional seafood feast that includes fried shrimp and fried calamari.

But the vegetable also is fabulous with roasted pork loin and beef dishes such as braciole. In fact, after you sauté the broccoli rabe, you can cook a steak in the same pan, taking advantage of any remaining garlic-infused oil.


What’s in Marinated Baked Mahi Mahi

  • Mahi Mahi
  • fresh tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • shallots
  • capers
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • salt, pepper

Just look at those beautiful, fresh ingredients. I love it!

It’s hearty and light — all at once, making it great for a cool winter night or a warm summer night.

Broccolini® Nutrition

According to the Canadian Nutrient File, the nutritional value per 1 stalk (151 g) of raw broccoli using the daily recommended intake from Health Canada is: 225% of Vitamin C, 192% of Vitamin K, 14% of Vitamin A, 43% of folate, 14% of potassium, 13% of magnesium, 12% of pantothenic acid, 11% of riboflavin, 8% of iron and 6% of calcium. It is also high in lutein, an antioxidant that is reported to be beneficial for maintaining good eyesight.

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