broccoli rabe

I am always trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet, especially this time of year.

I’ve learned that broccoli rabe is a somewhat polarizing food. I remember being surprised by its bitter taste as a child (my Uncle Albert had it around all the time). My mom assured me that “it’s an acquired taste” and thereafter, wanting to acquire every taste, I grew to love it.

These days, my boyfriend and I eat broccoli rabe once or twice a week — it finds its way onto our pizzas, into our pastas, on toast, as a side to meat, poultry, fish, and even for breakfast with eggs. When we’re out of rabe, we know it’s time to go grocery shopping. 

This is the cooking technique that we use. It is simple, versatile and ready in minutes, making it the perfect starting point for any broccoli rabe journey that you wish to embark on. Quick-blanching the rabe releases some of its famous bitterness.

Toss it with some lemon for a delicious side, add it to pasta, or top off a slice of crusty bread and ricotta with some rabe and you are set. The possibilities are endless!

Serves 2-3


  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove or shallot, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Fill a teapot or kettle with water and bring to a boil.

Trim the ends off of the broccoli rabe and discard. Roughly chop the remaining stems and leaves and place in a colander in the sink.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the garlic, salt, and pepper.

Pour boiling water over broccoli rabe in a colander and allow to strain then immediately add to pan with shallot. Cook uncovered until it softens, about 5 minutes.