Rapini (Broccoli Rabe)

rapini pinit View Gallery 1 photo

Rapini or Broccoli Rabe is a bitter vegetable. In this recipe I use garlic and a little chicken broth settle the untamed pungency of this bitter green.

Cooking rapini

Whenever I cook rapini it reminds me of what I think broccoli and chopped collards would look like if I cooked them together.

In this recipe I use garlic and a little chicken broth settle the untamed pungency of this bitter green. The chicken broth is not used for the purpose of boiling the vegetable but to assist in the braising process.  

I prep rapini a couple of different ways so, let me tell you about the method I used in this recipe first.

(Prep #1) I cut off the first part of the stems about a half inch or so and discard that then I cut the stems about ½ inch long all the way up to the florets.

(Prep #2) Another way of prepping rapini is to cut at the point where the stem begins to flourish into leaves and buds. This will leave you with the leaves and flourettes.

 The stems can be used to make soup or if you are willing to take the time you can make rapini spears out of them.

In order to make rapini spears cut the ends of the stem off then simply take a carrot peeler and lightly peel each side of the stem until all of the outer skin is gone and you will be left with a tender spear of rapini which cooks up nicely in boiling lightly salted water, about 6 minutes.

Rapini is a somewhat an uncommon vegetable so you may have a hard time finding it. You can get this vegetable year round but it is usually plentiful during the months of August, September, October and November. Your local chain grocer may not have it but independent International food stores, produce markets and farmers markets usually will.

Rapini is a very uncommon vegetable

Because this vegetable is so uncommon to most people I try to make a point to add something familiar when cooking it. I love adding carrots, red peppers or pimentos and even yellow squash at times.

Rapini or Broccoli Rabe is pronounced broccoli “rob” and is a bitter vegetable. Some confuse this bitter vegetable with broccolini but they are far apart.

 Broccolini is similar to broccoli and in the broccoli family. But broccoli rabe is in a class of its own. Broccoli Rabe or Rapini bitterness can be its best feature. You may feel reluctant to use such an aggressive vegetable but with the right combination it serves as a wonderful side dish.

Don’t cook away the good

Rapini is in no way related to broccoli. Rapini is a member of the cabbage and turnip family it’s not broccoli.

Sometimes rapini is boiled in lightly salted water and strained before sautéing. This is usually done to remove some of the bitterness from the rapini.

I have tasted rapini which has been prepare in this manner and I must admit it was pretty darn good. Unfortunitly this manner of cooking rapini removes a lot of the nutrients that you want.  

If you have cooked greens before (mustard, collards, kale) then you should have no problem cooking Rapini or broccoli rabe.

After about 48 hours this vegetable tends to lose some of its flavor. as long as it is stored in food bags, container or wrapped tightly a two day shelf life is no problem.

This recipe item also freezes well, just thaw in refrigerator and reheat as below.

This recipe is easily reheated. To reheat you can microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds or you can sauté in a little olive oil on the stove top.

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 25 mins Servings: 8



Off On

  1. Wash rapini in plenty of water then rinse and repeat if vegetable retains a lot of sand. Slice vegetables about ¾” to inch from bottom of stalk and discard this cut. Cut stems twice and keep separate from florettes.

  2. In a heavy skillet lighty sauté garlic, then add chicken broth. Let simmer a couple minutes. Add the sliced stalks and cook at a simmer for 6 – 8 minutes. If rapini stems are almost tender add florettes and carrot slivers and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. Check to make sure vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 5oz

Servings 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 83
Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g7%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 344mg15%
Total Carbohydrate 7g3%
Dietary Fiber 1g4%
Sugars 2g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.



Keywords: rapini, broccoli rabe, rab, broccolini

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