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Broccoli Rabe with Chile and Garlic

Broccoli Rabe with Chile and Garlic

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Blanching tames the bitter bite of broccoli rabe without robbing it of its addictive spiciness: A quick dip in salted water makes it more palatable and tender, so that it cooks quickly in the skillet.


  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Working in 2 batches, cook broccoli rabe just until bright green, about 10 seconds. Drain and let cool slightly. Squeeze excess liquid from broccoli rabe and coarsely chop.

  • Cook garlic and ¼ cup oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, swirling skillet occasionally, until garlic is just beginning to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and red pepper flakes and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 6–8 minutes; season with salt. Serve broccoli rabe drizzled with more oil.

Reviews SectionDelicious! I added a little lemon juice at the end.AnonymousMichigan 04/08/20You need to SHOCK the broccoli rabe after you've blanched it in order to preserve the gren.This is not a review. I want to make this, but what is a bunch broccoli rabe equal to? Every grocery store packages theirs differently.

Broccolini vs. Broccoli vs. Broccoli Rabe: What's the Difference?

Meet broccoli&aposs closest relatives. When it comes to vegetables, the U.S. can proudly dub itself Broccoli Nation. Each year, each of us eats almost six pounds of fresh and three pounds of frozen broccoli. We have Italy to thank — broccoli has been grown and enjoyed there since the days of the Roman Empire, and when immigrants from Italy hit U.S. shores, their favorite vegetable became one of ours as well.

Of course, we also devour some of broccoli&aposs closest relatives. Here&aposs everything you need to know about broccoli, broccolini, and broccoli rabe:

  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe (about 2 pounds)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and coarsely chopped
  • ½ small dried hot red chile pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup very small black olives (NiÀ§oise-type), pitted

Discard any coarse, yellowing or wilted broccoli rabe leaves. Cut away tough stems, leaving the flowers and stalks and the tender young side leaves. Thoroughly wash, leaving some water still clinging to the leaves.

Heat oil over medium heat in a deep pot, large enough to hold all the broccoli rabe. Add garlic and chile pepper cook, stirring, just until the garlic starts to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe by the handful, letting it wilt a bit before adding more. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is tender and just a few spoonfuls of liquid remain in the pan, 15 to 20 minutes. (The water on the leaves should be plenty for cooking, but check the pan from time to time and add water if necessary.)

Stir well to coat. Season with salt and stir in olives. Serve immediately.

We’ve all been there: tired and hangry and wishing dinner would spontaneously appear. You want something now and it must be decidedly delicious. Pasta is a good bet, but even with the official pasta sauce power rankings for reference, plain jarred tomato sauce doesn’t always cut it. Not to worry. Here are 11 recipes that use 11 or fewer ingredients and can be made, start to finish in about the time it takes to get the pasta cooked (30 minutes or less).

At moments like these, my go-to is a big bowl of spaghetti aglio e olio, that classic Italian no-sauce-sauce of garlic-infused olive oil and crushed chile peppers (and, for me, lots of ground black pepper). The aroma is intoxicating the flavor, intense. You’ll want more, long after it is all gone. And it is so easy, you’ll even have time to toss together a salad to go with.

The garlic-olive oil combo serves as a base for many equally or almost as simple and delectable preparations, the operative words being simple and delectable. Fava beans add some protein in a riff on scampi (the splash of lemon makes the flavors really pop). Nutrient-rich, budget-friendly canned sardines give pasta chi sardi a mari a unique depth of flavor, and toasted breadcrumbs augment the texture of the dish. The capers in midnight pasta add some brininess to the party, which is balanced with the sweet buttery-ness of pine nuts.

Orecchiette with broccoli rabe and garlic bread crumbs adds a few more layers of textures, as well as flavor, and you get to check off “eating your vegetables” from your daily To Eat list. Pasta with Italian sausage and broccoli brings new zest and yet another vegetable to the plate, and the spicy sausage amps up the dish’s already-high flavor factor.

Too much garlic? (Admittedly, I can’t really make sense of that phrase, though I know that for some it is meaningful.) The green garlic in whole wheat spaghetti with green garlic and fried egg bears a gentler, more subtle garlickiness than that from mature bulbs. The tender stalks intertwine with the spaghetti strands, which, when coated with egg yolk and garlic oil, is utterly dope.

Still too much garlic? It is completely optional in tomato-y pasta all’ Amatriciana, and neither the ever-popular cacio e pepe nor the spaghetti carbonara even hints at including garlic.

If that jar of marinara sitting in your pantry keeps calling your name, you can use it for one-pan pasta and doctor it up with additional ingredients. Sort of like making lasagna with those no-boil lasagna sheets, the angel hair cooks in and soaks up the sauce, making the pasta extra flavorful. Even better: There is no separate pasta pot to wash.


Cut off the tough ends of the stems of the broccoli rabe. Then, holding a stem with the florets in hand, nick a little piece at the end of the stem with a paring knife, and pull the little piece of the stem toward you, peeling the stem partially. Continue working your way around the stem until it is peeled. As you peel, some of the large, tough outer leaves will also be removed discard those as well. Repeat with the remaining stems. Wash and drain them in a colander.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Scatter the garlic over the oil, and cook, shaking the pan, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli rabe, and season lightly with salt and the crushed red pepper flakes. Stir and toss to distribute the seasonings.

Pour ¼ cup water into the skillet, and bring to a boil. Cover the skillet tightly, and cook, lifting the lid to turn the stalks occasionally, until the broccoli rabe is tender, about 10 minutes. Taste, and season with additional salt and crushed red pepper if necessary. Serve hot.

Ingalls Photography

Chicken and Broccoli Rabe Stromboli

Signe Birck

Broccoli Rabe with Pine Nuts & Golden Raisins

Ryan Liebe

White Bean Soup with Fennel Seeds and Broccoli Rabe


1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 small Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced

1 medium lemon, thinly sliced crosswise

2 bunches broccoli rabe, cleaned and trimmed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bonus Recipe: Pine-Nut Crumble

¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large saucepot set over medium heat, combine the oil, garlic, chile and lemon slices and cook for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and stir to coat. Cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat for 25 minutes. Stir the broccoli rabe, recover and cook another 25 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the broccoli to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Bonus Recipe: Pine-Nut Crumble

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, butter, pine nuts, lemon zest, parsley and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and use your fingers to combine until chunks form. Spread the mixture on a sheet pan and bake until browned and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes. Top the broccoli with the prepared crumble and serve.

Orecchiette with Rapini

In a medium pot, bring a few inches of water to boil for the rabe. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water in both pots once it comes to a boil.

In the medium pot, cook the rabe until wilted, 1 to 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain chop into bite-size pieces.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil, four turns of the pan, over medium. Add the anchovies, chile and garlic. Partially cover and cook until the anchovies melt into the oil, about 1 minute. Add the rabe season with salt and pepper. Add the vermouth and stir until evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.

Add the pasta to the large pot of boiling salted water cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving half a mug of cooking water. Add the cooking water to the rabe mixture toss with the pasta. Divide among bowls and top with ricotta salata.

Ottolenghi’s Grilled Broccoli with Chile and Garlic

If you&rsquore tired of the same old broccoli side dish, turn up the flavor volume with Ottolenghi&rsquos Grilled Broccoli with Chile and Garlic. I can&rsquot take credit for this one, and I wouldn&rsquot even try. Yotam Ottolenghi has a masterful way of coaxing flavor, combining textures and inspiring even the most reticent broccoli-eater into diving headfirst into this dish!

For most of us, broccoli is a veg that gets very little treatment &ndash a 20 minute roast in a hot oven or a quick steam before a pat of butter and sprinkle of salt and pepper finish it off. But Ottolenghi serves his with a lot more care and finesse. And flavor! This recipe came from his appropriately named tome, Ottolenghi, The Cookbook.

And what an original, savory and sweet read it is! The story of how Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tammimi came to be restaurant partners under the most unusual circumstances is worth spending an afternoon on a porch swing devouring every syllable. But I digress, back to dinner&hellip Right. Broccoli.

The broccoli is submerged in a cauldron of boiling water, but only for an instant to bring out the vibrant green color and get it to the ideal tender-crisp doneness. Then it&rsquos plunged into an icy bath to stop the cooking. After sending it through a salad spinner to dry completely (that&rsquos key), the florets are tossed with olive oil and charred on a hot grill pan.

Garlic and red chili, shaved wafer-thin are the flavor agents for the rest of this dish. In a simple, yet effective treatment, Ottolenghi simultaneously, crisps and browns the garlic and chili while inducing the aromatics to flavor the oil. Wow! No more measly pats of butter for me.

Along with fresh slices of lemon and crunchy toasted almonds, the humble broccoli has never had it so good.


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