Great garlicky greens.
This Italian sautéed broccoli rabe recipe makes a fantastic but simple vegetable side. Sautéed in good olive oil and garnished with hot pepper flakes, sautéed broccoli rabe pairs well with pasta, roasts, meatballs, and lots more.
Meet This Sautéed Broccoli Rabe Recipe With Garlic
Broccoli rabe, or rapini, is a nourishing, slightly bitter green cruciferous vegetable. Broccoli rabe is well known in Italian cuisine.
Though not as common as broccoli or even kale, rapini deserves to be part of your green vegetable rotation. Broccoli rabe is easy to prepare, makes a bright addition to the dinner table, and goes well with almost many pasta dishes or Italian main courses.
This recipe combines sautéed broccoli rabe with good amounts of olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. The result, while simple, is just about perfect.
How to Make Broccoli Rabe Less Bitter
Some people are put off by the natural bitterness of rapini. The sharpness can taste overwhelming if not prepared the right way. Luckily, there is an easy way to cut the bitterness so the flavor tastes more rounded.
To remove some of the bitterness from broccoli rabe, blanch it in well-salted, boiling water. You only need to blanch the rapini for about 30 seconds to one minute. The broccoli rabe softens and wilts, as the salt counters the bitterness, making a milder overall flavor.
After the rabe is wilted, drain it and transfer it right into the still with the olive oil to start sautéing it with the garlic.
Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Recipe Steps
This recipe requires just a few recipe steps — and ingredients.
- Trim the stem ends and blanch the broccoli rabe in well-salted boiling water.
- Drain well and chop. Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet. Add the garlic, then the broccoli rabe. Season and add some hot red pepper flakes, if desired.
- Sauté the rapini and garlic for several minutes, until fully cooked and still very bright green. Serve.
What to Eat With Broccoli Rabe
Sautéed broccoli rabe is a classic side dish for many Italian recipes. My favorite ways to eat garlicky broccoli rabe is in a Philly-style hot roast pork sandwich, dripping with gravy and topped with sharp provolone cheese.
But if you don’t find yourself in Philly or in the mood for a roast pork sandwich, broccoli rabe makes an excellent side dish for many roast meats, as well as a classic Sunday tomato sauce and meatball dinner.
Love Italian rapini and other leafy greens? You’ll also love:
- Tomato, Kale + Chickpea Stew
- Spanish Garbanzos and Greens
- Broccoli Rabe Pasta With Italian Chicken Sausage
Garlicky Sautéed Broccoli Rabe, Italian Style
- 1 large head broccoli rabe, rinsed and stem ends trimmed
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 generous pinch hot red pepper flakes
- Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and blanch for about 1 minute, until wilted. Drain well.PRO TIP: Blanching the broccoli rabe in salted water not only keeps the color vibrant green, it also cuts some of the bitterness.
- Roughly chop the broccoli rabe into 1" to 2" pieces.
- Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until slightly golden brown.
- Add the broccoli rabe. Cook, stirring often, until very soft (about 4 to 5 minutes). Make sure the garlic does not darken or burn; add a little water and reduce the heat if necessary.
- Adjust seasoning and toss in a generous pinch of hot red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve warm. TIP: Depending on the saltiness of the water, you may need to add up to about 1/2 teaspoon more salt.