Sunday, November 23, 2008

Adventures with rapini

Yesterday whiloe grocery shopping, i spotted a new to us vegetable, rapini. It is also called broccoli rabe, and it seems to be pretty common in italian cusine. I have never tried it , simply because I did not know how to cook it. So I asked one of the older ladies selecting bunches for themselves, and found out that you can either boil it or stir fry it. Simple enough, so I bought a goodly sized bunch and decided to play with it for dinner.

Raw, it has a taste that is something between a turnip green and broccoli, with the floretttes having a stronger flavor. I decided to cut it up and sautee it with some garlic and green onions. When cut, the smell reminded me of how rutabegas taste; pleasently spicy and slightly sweet. The rapini cooked down, but retained its very bright color. It smelled plesant, and we were all excited to taste it.

The excitement quickly faided as we tasted it. Rapini is VERY biting and bitter. If you are a fan of turnip greens, you would enjoy this vegetable, as the taste is very similar but stronger. We ate it, but did not enjoy it. I kept reminding myself that it is one of the brassica family, and has numerous health benefits. Not sure if I will make this one again, but if I do it will be in addition to another vegetable and not on it's own.

Perhaps if someone else has made this and had a good recipie to share, it would help a future adventure.


Skye's the Limit said...

Hey Di,

Kudos to you for trying out a new veggie. That's one I'm familiar with, courtesy of Rachel Ray, but they don't seem to sell it in my neck of the woods.

I was watching her on the Food Network the other day and she prepared a dish using broccoli rabe. In fact, she cooks with it often because it's one of her and her husbands favorite veggies.

Listen to me, like I actually know the woman! LOL

I went on the Food Network website to see if I could find the recipe for you, but goodness, she has so many of them using this veggie. You might want to check it out for yourself to get some different ideas. Good luck!

The Incredible Shrinking Family said...

Thanks ! I will definitely go check out food network for this one. The produce mart we go to is a family ownewd business( Italian family) that caters to a lo of ethnic groups, and they have this veggie almost all the time . A lot of other odd ball ones so it can be fun to shop at. It was on sale this week , so it made it even more tempting to try. It sure looks and smells neat. Now if I can just tone down the bitterness, it would be very good.