Before we dive into this recipe, let’s learn a little bit about this misunderstood vegetable: broccoli rabe (pronounced like “rob”) isn’t actually broccoli at all! Rather, it’s closely related to mustard greens. It’s also commonly called rapini in Italian cuisine. So confusing, right? I saw broccoli rabe hiding among the other greens in the organic section of the market and couldn’t resist the urge to try something new. My curiosity was rewarded because it was damn tasty!
This unassuming veggie can be bitter but when blanched – boiled quickly and then plunged into icy cold water – the unappealing bitterness is removed. If you can’t find broccoli rabe, or if you’re just too chicken to try something new, you can substitute it with virtually any dark leafy green like swiss chard, mustard greens or spinach (no need to blanch those options).
- 1 large bunch (about 1 lb. / 500 g) of broccoli rabe (rapini)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp chopped pistachio nuts
- 2 Tbsp dried currants
- ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- ½ cup chicken stock (or water)
- Olive oil
- Sea salt, to taste
- Boil a large pot of water. Set up a large bowl filled with ice water.
- While the water comes to a boil, trim the ends off the broccoli rabe and chop into wide strips, mince the garlic and chop the pistachios.
- Blanch the broccoli rabe in boiling water for 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to the ice water and allow to cool for a few minutes. Drain.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add a glug of olive oil. Saute the garlic, pistachios, currants and red pepper flakes for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the drained broccoli rabe and chicken stock, cooking for 3-4 more minutes or until the stems are tender. Adjust the seasoning with sea salt if necessary.