Monday, November 30, 2020 / by Vinny Steo
Broccoli Raab is a vegetable related to the cabbage and turnip family. It looks like miniature broccoli with long thin stems. popular in Italy. Wildly popular in China. And the No. 1 vegetable in Hong Kong. It works under many aliases: Broccoli rabe, Turnip broccoli, Broccoletti, Rapini, Rapine, Rappi, Rappone, and Rapa. Probably in an effort to diffuse suspicion.
What makes Broccoli Raab different from Broccoli is the taste difference. Raab has a peppery almost pungent flavor that some people here might be turned off by, but taming it in a little salt water will help fix that.
The spiciness also works in its favor. Pairing it with garlic and sausage or say a vanilla butter will have the same effect of neutralizing or more aptly putting it in a harmonious state with its pairing.
It is gaining popularity every year with increased shelf space at grocery stores. Broccoli raab has 6-9 inch asparagus-like stalks, button size broccoli looking buds, and turnip looking leaves. Its flavor has a hint of mustard, but otherwise, it is similar in taste to broccoli.
Available year-round from California, broccoli raab is a nutritional powerhouse. It is low in calories, high in fiber, and low in fat, so it will fill you up and not out. In addition, broccoli raab contains vitamins A & C and is rich in beta-carotene, calcium, and iron.
Popular in Italian and Chinese cooking, broccoli raab can be fried, steamed, or used in soups and salads. It only takes 2-5 minutes to cook, so be careful not to overcook it or you will have a mushy mess on your hands.
So the next time you’re not sure what to add to your meal or you’re just tire of the same old side dishes, give broccoli raab a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.