Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, broccoli rape, or Chinese broccoli is a variety of brassica closely related to the turnip. It may be confused with broccolini, although they are different ingredients.
Broccoli rabe consists of a stem with leafy greens and green buds similar to those of broccoli. The stems are light green while the leaves are dark green. The buds are notably less compact than broccoli, though they taste similar.
Broccoli rabe has a bitter flavor when raw, and this can be reduced by cooking.
Selection and storage Edit
Select broccoli rabe that are firm with un-wilted leaves. The buds should also be firm and compact. Store broccoli rabe in an airtight container in the fridge to keep it from wilting. Trim off any woody parts of the stem before cooking.
The bitter flavor of broccoli rabe pairs well with heavy protein and fat. It is usually cooked, and it can be treated like other bitter greens. Blanching in boiling salted water will help reduce the bitterness before using it, although this step is not required. Broccoli rabe can be used in pastas, meat dishes, pestos, stir-fry, and more.