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Spicy Broccoli Rabe

Photo: Oxmoor House


Hands-on time 16 mins
Total time 16 mins
Yield Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 cup)
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. 


  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about 2 tablespoons)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 81
  • fat 4.7 g
  • satfat 1.2 g
  • monofat 2.7 g
  • polyfat 0.6 g
  • protein 6 g
  • carbohydrate 6 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 3 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 175 mg
  • calcium 98 mg

How to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. Set a colander in the sink. Get some tongs ready, too.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Bring the pot back to the stove. Boil again.

  6. 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.

  7. Place the olive oil in a large bowl. Swirl around a bit. Look fancy.

  8. Add the garlic and lemon juice to the bowl.

  9. Add the hot broccoli rabe to the bowl. Toss to lightly coat in oil and garlic. Sprinkle with salt.

  10. Serve with a few shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano alongside Toasted Penne with Chicken Sausage.

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