Commonly known in the United States as broccoli raab (also spelled broccoli rabe).
The plant is a member of the Brassica family, a group of vegetables including cabbage, collards and Brussels sprouts that have gained recent widespread attention due to their health promoting, sulfur-containing phytonutrients.
Rapini looks very similar to a small head of broccoli. There may be small yellow flowers blooming from the buds, which are edible. The flavor of rapini is nutty, bitter, pungent, and “an acquired taste”.
Taming the Bitterness
- make rapini compete for attention with other flavors: sweet, salt, sour or with spices
- bitterness varies from bunch to bunch
- briefly blanching it before further cooking can reduce bitterness
How to Select:
- Leaves should be bright-green leaves, crisp, upright, and not wilted.
- Avoid ones with leaves that are wilted, yellowing, or have dark green patches of slime.
- Refrigerate, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.
Tips for Preparing Rapini:
- The leaves, stems, and flower heads can be broiled, stir-fried, braised, sautéd, or steamed and eaten just like regular broccoli and have a flavor similar to broccoli but much more pungent.
- Some say irapini is an acquired taste – but once acquired, it’s addictive!
- Rinse and trim 1/4-inch from bottom of stems
- Cut stalks crosswise into 2-inch pieces and drop them into salted (optional), boiling water
- Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and remove with slotted spoon
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
- Sauté the blanched rapini in a little olive oil and lots of garlic
- Stir-fry Rapini in a wok
- Braise Rapini in extra-virgin olive oil and garlic
- Add to pasta with some white beans
Excellent Source of –
- Vitamin K
- Beta Caratene
Very Good Source of –
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Good Source of –
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
- Help prevent a wide variety of cancers including bladder, colon, breast, ovarian, prostate and lung cancers
- Optimize cells’ detoxification / cleansing ability
- Lower cataract risk
- Prevent damage to the eyes from excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays
- Promote lung health
- Immune support
- Reduce severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Help to prevent atherosclerosis
- Assist with a healthy immune system
- Promote energy production
- Keep blood sugar levels under control
- Promote bone health
- Slow loss of mental function
- Offer significant cardiovascular benefits