Ever walked by the produce aisle in the grocery store and noticed this broccoli look alike and wondered what it is? If you’ve haven’t cooked with broccoli rabe (pronounced “rob” and also known as rapini) you probably moved past it and went with the traditional broccoli. Broccoli Rabe is a cruciferous vegetable similar to turnips with a slightly bitter flavor. Blanching the vegetable before sauteeing helps to remove some of the bitterness associated with broccoli rabe. The toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese add a layer of nuttiness which makes this recipe delicious as a side or stand alone dish.
Is it broccoli, turnips or mustard greens?!
Blanching helps to reduce cooking time and retains the amazing color of vegetables. Most vegetables can be blanched in under 5 minutes depending on size and type. Make sure to have a ice bath ready to go before your water comes to a boil.
How to Blanch Vegetables
- Stock pot
- large bowl
- your vegetable of choice
- Bring a pot of water to a boil with a tablespoon of salt. Similar to how you cook pasta. You want a larger volume of water to vegetables so when you add your vegetables to the boiling water the water continues to boil. Work in batches if necessary.
- Prepare and ice bath of half water and ice in a large bowl and set aside
- Depending on the size, type and cut of vegetable allow to boil for 3-5 minutes. Test a piece by removing and checking to see if tender.
- Once the vegetables have reached the desired tenderness remove from boiling water using a slotted spoon or tongs and immediately submerge in ice bath to stop cooking.