Eating Seasonally: Recipes for Rapini (A.K.A. Broccoli Rabe)

Rapini (also called “broccoli rabe”) has been prevalent in farmer’s markets for a few weeks now, and the rapini we sowed in our garden in late April is nearly ready to harvest. Now, what to do with it?

What is Rapini?

Rapini is a leafy green that is a member of the broccoli family. In fact, if you are growing your own, or buying it at the farmer’s market, you’ll often find that your rapini has developed buds that look just like broccoli florets. The flavor is similar to broccoli, but a tad more bitter. It is a cool-weather crop, best eaten in spring and fall.

This is a delicious, nutritious vegetable (we should all be eating more leafy greens in general!) but many people have no idea what to do with it. Here are a few recipes from around the web to help you out.

10 Rapini Recipes

1. Braised Broccoli Rabe via Emeril Lagasse: Braised greens with garlic, pancetta, and red pepper flakes.

2, Rapini with Orecchiette and White Beans, via The Kitchn: Rapini, pasta, cheese, and beans — perfect comfort food.

3, Orecchiette with Rapini and Goat Cheese, via Saveur: A perfect spring dish, featuring rapini, goat cheese, and lemon.

4. Charred Rapini, via Cooking Channel: Rapini, charred with honey and red pepper flakes, combined with sweet onions and walnuts.

5. Broccoli Rabe and Orzo Salad, via Eating Well: Delicious salad with rapini, orzo, lemon, oregano, and feta.

6. Goat Cheese Rapini Toasts, via The Kitchn: A perfect spring appetizer.

7. Lemony Broccoli Rabe, via About.com: Rapini sauteed with lemon and olive oil.

8. Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe, Toasted Garlic, and Bread Crumbs, via The New York Times.

9. Broccoli Rabe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, via Eating Well: Perfect side dish, or toss with pasta for a main dish.

10. Rapini and Mushroom Pesto, via The Wall Street Journal: A great spring alternative to basil pesto.

Part of the fun of growing food (or shopping at farmer’s markets) is learning fun new ways to prepare it. I hope these recipes give you some ideas for new ways to cook with rapini, or, even better, make you want to grow your own!