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Sauteed Broccoli Rabe Recipe – Laura Vitale –

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe Recipe – Laura Vitale –

In this episode Laura makes Broccoli Rabe different than the way we are used to. Instead of steaming stalks and then sauteing them she strips the stalks and then placing them into the hot oil directly. Interesting way to prepare the dish.

Broccoli Rabe or in Italian “Rapini” is a green cruciferous vegetable. The edible parts are the leaves, buds, and stems. The buds somewhat resemble broccoli, but do not form a large head. Rapini is known for its slightly bitter taste and is particularly associated with Italian, Galician, and Portuguese cuisines. Within the Italian tradition, the plant is heavily associated with the Southern Italian cuisines, especially that of Naples, those of Campania and Apulia, and Rome.

In Italy, it is called cime di rapa (literally meaning “turnip tops”), rapi, or rapini; inNaples it is known as friarielli and sometimes broccoli di rapa; in Rome broccoletti; and in Portugal and Spain grelos.

The young leaves of these plants as used in cooking are either the same as or the South European equivalent of turnip tops or turnip greens.

Rapini has many spiked leaves that surround clusters of green buds that resemble small heads of broccoli. Small, edible yellow flowers may be blooming among the buds. The flavor of rapini has been described as nutty, bitter, and pungent. Rapini is a source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.

The cultivated vegetable probably descends from a wild herb related to the turnip that grew either in China or the Mediterranean region. Rapini is similar in shape to the Chinese Brassica oleracea cultivar called kai-lan. Rapini is now grown throughout the world. Rapini is available all year long, but its peak season in the Northern Hemisphere is fall to spring.

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