Broccoli rabe's bitterness is often tempered by fatty sausages. Here, a "red peppered" and salted boiling water treatment brings the vegetable, also known as rapini, to a nearly perfect, pale-ale bitter, where olive oil can enrich without masking. Bay brings essences of clove, eucalyptus, and evergreen to add warmth and fullness to the dish. This vegetable holds well for a day or two in the fridge; just make sure you squeeze out the excess water before storing.
Combine the 2 quarts of water, the ground red pepper, and the bay leaf in a 4-quart Dutch oven (or similarly sized pot). Bring to a full rolling boil.
Set a colander in the sink. Get some tongs ready, too.
Put half the trimmed broccoli rabe into the boiling water. Cook for 2 1/2 minutes or until crisp-tender. You'll have to taste it; you can't "see" tender in broccoli rabe.
Take the pot and the tongs to the sink, but don't pour out the liquid. grab all of the rabe and place it in the colander.
Bring the pot back to the stove. Boil again.
Add the rest of the broccoli rabe. Cook for 2 1/2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Now you can drain it. go ahead and dump the whole thing on top of the other broccoli rabe. It'll get warmed up. Find the bay leaf. Discard it.
Place the olive oil in a large bowl. Swirl around a bit. Look fancy.
Add the garlic and lemon juice to the bowl.
Add the hot broccoli rabe to the bowl. Toss to lightly coat in oil and garlic. Sprinkle with salt.
Serve with a few shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano alongside Toasted Penne with Chicken Sausage.
Cooking Light Mad Delicious
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