This is a one-step, easy Italian Broccoli Rabe recipe with just a handful of ingredients, so it’s a breeze to throw together as a side dish for any day of the week! Garlicky goodness!
What Is Broccoli Rabe?
Broccoli rabe — aka rapini — may look intimidating to the naked eye, but it’s no more complicated to cook than any other staple green veggie. And while its name may suggest relations with its cruciferous cousin, broccoli, this leafy, green vegetable is actually more closely related to the turnip.
Its bitter (but in a good way) stems, nutty leaves, and delectable buds are all edible (and delicious) and commonplace in Italian cooking.
Broccoli rabe can be found at most grocery stores. My favorite is a common brand found here in Philly, Andy Boy.
What Are The Health Benefits?
Did you know that only one in 10 American adults meet the minimum U.S. Dietary Guidelines for daily fruit and vegetable intake? If you’re in the majority and looking for new ways to incorporate more produce into your diet, this recipe is a great place to start.
Broccoli rabe is an all-star veggie in my book because it’s loaded with vitamins A, C, and K in just 3.5 oz., and also packs in minerals like calcium, folate, and iron, just to name a few.
Another bonus? Broccoli rabe is made up of water and fiber, which help digestion and can also keep you feeling fuller for longer, supporting healthy weight loss.
Additionally, broccoli rabe is rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, which have been shown to lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and may help reduce the risk of cancer.
How to Select and Store
Choose broccoli rabe that has firm and slender stalks without any discoloration or wilting. Avoid those with yellowing leaves or florets. Instead opt for broccoli rabe that is all green and without too many florets.
Uncooked broccoli rabe may be stored wrapped in a damp paper towel, and perforated plastic bag, in the crisper section of the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How to Cook Broccoli Rabe?
Broccoli rabe is delicious when blanched and sautéed in olive oil, roasted until crisp and charred, or even pureed into a pesto.
In other words, there’s really no wrong way to cook this veggie, but my favorite has to be this recipe because of how simple it is – it’s all in one step! All you need are five simple ingredients and 15 minutes or less, and voila! You’re done.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (note in photos I used more because I made more than 1 bunch).
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe (no yellowing, with the fewest florets is best)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 pinch red pepper flake
- 1 teaspoon salt
How To Clean Broccoli Rabe and Cook
- Trim the broccoli rabe by cutting off the tough ends and splitting any thick stems, cutting from the bottom up.
- Cut the trimmed broccoli rabe into 2-inch pieces.
- Rinse in colander with lots of cold water and then drain.
- Add olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes to a large pan or pot, and heat over medium heat.
- Once the garlic becomes aromatic, add the broccoli rabe and cover. (Optional: Remove garlic before you add the broccoli rabe). (SEE NOTE 1)
- Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes — stirring every few minutes — until the stems are fork tender.
- Check seasonings to taste, and add more salt and olive oil if desired. (If you opted to remove the garlic, add it back now.)
- Serve hot with crusty Italian bread, or add to pasta or sandwiches, and enjoy!
How To Serve Italian Broccoli Rabe
- Alone with crusty bread
- As a side dish with roasted chicken
- With cannelloni beans for a complete meal
- As a sandwich or hoagie that also includes roasted red peppers and fried/grilled eggplant.
- In a roast pork sandwich with sharp provolone
- With pasta and grilled sausage, or roasted garlic and olive oil
- With scrambled eggs and Italian bread in the morning, or in an omelette
More Recipes To Try
If you enjoyed this recipe, then you’ll love these other vegetable recipes:
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Italian Broccoli Rabe
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin, preferably
- 1 pinch red pepper flake
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cut off the tough ends of the broccoli rabe and then split any thick stems by cutting from the bottom up.
- After thick stems have been trimmed and split, cut it all into 2-inch pieces.
- Place cleaned, trimmed broccoli rabe in colander and rinse very well with lots of cold water and then drain.
- In a large pan or pot (large enough to hold the broccoli rabe – we often double or triple the recipe), add olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flake and heat over medium heat.
- When you can begin to smell the garlic, add the broccoli rabe and cover (optional step: remove garlic before you add the broccoli rabe). (SEE NOTE 1)
- Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the stems are tender (test with a fork).
- While greens are cooking, stir with tongs or a large spoon every few minutes. You can uncover the pot once the greens are wilted.
- If you opted to remove the garlic, add it back now. Check seasonings and add more salt and drizzel with a bit more olive oil if desired.
- Serve hot with crusty Italian bread, or add to pasta or sandwiches.