06 April 2010
this weekend i made an excellent new food discovery. rabe! i have definitely heard of broccoli rabe and i've definitely seen the brassicas in my garden go to seed, but i never really put the two together. this weekend we stopped by nash's organic produce stand at the farmer's market and one whole table was dedicated to rabe in all shades and varieties. apparently any brassica (broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc.) that is going to seed is fair game for sauteing and eating. bring it on! we bought a red kale rabe and a green cabbage rabe (see photos above, but ignore the pink from the red chard--the nice lady at the stand set it there for color).
the texture is likened to asparagus in that most of what you eat is stalk. you eat the whole thing so there is the stalk, the leafy greens and the seed portion, which is similar to tender broccoli. the taste is slightly bitter in a good way. almost like horseradish, but much more mellow. so far, i have found it a refreshing variety from my constant kale intake--i love it.
here is how i've cooked it up:
i like the mixture of red kale and green cabbage rabe, but i would also try red cabbage, green kale and brocolli rabe in an instant.
preferred type of rabe
1 clove garlic
*all amounts are relative, you could make this for 1 or for 4, depending on how much rabe you want to use. you could also mix this with other fully formed brassicas, adding broccoli and cabbage with the stalks and/or kale with the leaves.
1. cut off the very ends of each stalk, separate the leaf from the stalk with a knife or by plucking
2. cut stalk to desired size (i like bite size inches, but you could keep them long like asparagus)
3. smash and peel a clove of garlic, chop fine or put through garlic press
4. heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add a bit of oil and let it warm through
5. once oil is warm add the stalk portion of the rabe. add a pinch of salt and cover for a minute or two
6. once stalks are darker green and a bit softer, add the smashed garlic a slice of butter and the leafs of the rabe. add more salt to taste and pepper. stir to coat and cover
7. cook, uncovering only to stir more
8. once leaves are wilted, take off heat and squeeze a tad bit of lemon juice over the mixture.
viola! eat this mixture on its own for an afternoon snack, with fried tofu and rice for dinner, on top of a slice of toast, next to fish cooked in lemon, with a fried egg...the options are endless.