Prepare and Cook Broccoli Rabe
Template:CopyeditbotBroccoli rabe, also known as broccoli raab and rapini, is actually more closely related to turnips than to broccoli. However, broccoli rabe has a similar taste to broccoli and buds that are similar to broccoli buds. Broccoli rabe is a good source of vitamins A, C and K. It is also a good source of potassium. This article will show you how to prepare and cook broccoli rabe.
Preparing Broccoli Rabe
- Look for broccoli rabe that has crisp, bright green leaves.
- Avoid wilted or yellowing broccoli rabe and broccoli rabe that has any dark patches or slime.
- Rinse the broccoli rabe in a bowl of cold water. If necessary, drain the water and repeat the process until the broccoli rabe is free of dirt.
- Do not wash broccoli rabe until just before you are ready to use it to avoid mold and decay.
- Cut off the tough ends of the broccoli rabe stems. You do not need to peel the stems of broccoli rabe.
- If desired, you can cut the stems off the broccoli rabe up to the bottom of the leaf. Stems can be chopped and cooked a few minutes longer than the leaves.
- Stems of broccoli rabe can also be discarded and only the leaves and buds prepared and eaten.
Steaming Broccoli Rabe
- Put a small amount of water into a steamer. Bring the water to a boil.
- If you do not have a steamer, put a small amount of water in a pot. Place a colander or mesh strainer with the broccoli rabe inside the pot. Place the pot's lid on top and boil the water.
- Carefully add the stems of the broccoli rabe to the steamer (or make shift steamer) if you are using them.
- Wait for a few minutes and then add the leaves. Steam them until they are tender and wilted.
- Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Strain any extra water. The broccoli rabe is now ready to eat.
Sauteing Broccoli Rabe
- Heat either oil or butter in a pan. Wait until the pan is thoroughly heated up and the butter is melted (if you are using butter) before adding the broccoli rabe stems.
- Stir the broccoli rabe stems occasionally. Add garlic for more flavorful broccoli rabe.
- Add the leaves when the stems are almost tender. Stir occasionally for 1 to 2 minutes or until done.
Blanching Broccoli Rabe
- Add water to a pot and boil. It is not necessary to use a non-reactive pot. When the water is boiling, add the broccoli rabe stems. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the leaves after those 2 minutes are up. Cook both stems and leaves for 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Strain the broccoli rabe from the boiling water and immediately place the stems and leaves into a bowl of ice water.
- Leave the broccoli rabe in the ice water for several minutes. Take the broccoli rabe out and pat it dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel.
Microwaving Broccoli Rabe
- Put the broccoli rabe in a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Do not dry the broccoli rabe off after you have washed it.
- Microwave on high heat until the broccoli rabe is tender and wilted. This should take about 1 minute. Be sure to add the stems first if you are using them.
- Microwaves vary in intensity. Be sure to check your broccoli rabe frequently until you learn how long to cook it for in your specific microwave.
Simmering Broccoli Rabe
- Fill a pot with water. Wait for the water to boil and then add the broccoli rabe.
- Add the stems a few minutes before the leaves if you choose to cook them. It is not necessary to use a non-reactive pot.
- Simmering the broccoli rabe should take 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour the broccoli rabe and the water into a strainer.
- Be aware that the taste of broccoli rabe is more bitter than the taste of broccoli.
- Store broccoli rabe for up to 3 days in the refrigerator loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. It is best to buy or harvest broccoli rabe as close as possible to the time when you are going to prepare it.
Sources and Citations
- Bittman, Mark. 1998. How to Cook Everything. McMillian. New York, N.Y.