The assertive flavor of rapini, or broccoli rabe is a favorite of Italian and Chinese cooks for centuries. Today, this leafy green vegetable has gained popularity with American cooks because it’s so easy to prepare. The blossoms, leaves and stalks of the rapini are all edible and feature identical taste levels. Rapini has a slightly bitter taste and is frequently steamed or lightly sautéed in olive oil. Its strong flavor makes it a perfect complement to milder foods.
- Low in calories and sodium
- No fat or cholesterol
- Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K
- Fresh rapini will have bright-green leaves that are crisp, upright and have few opened buds.
- Avoid rapini with leaves that are wilted or yellowing.
Storage and Handling
- Wrap in plastic and store in the crisper section of refrigerator for five to seven days.
- Rinse rapini in colander under cold water. Trim the base of the stems and discard. Cut the rest of the stems, leaves and tops crosswise into 2-inch lengths.
- Most cooks like to blanch rapini before cooking to reduce bitter flavor