Kitchen Garden Seeds

Sautéed Broccoli Raab
Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms * John Scheepers * Bantam, CT
Recipe Seeds

Everyone’s Nonna had her own Broccoli Raab specialty, whether it was a steaming side to Sunday porchetta, a robust pasta or a hearty, crusty sandwich. Broccoli Raab’s fierce greenness and complex, slightly pungent taste grows on you to the point of undeniable craving, especially on chilly fall nights. This is our base recipe from which we easily create pasta dishes and amazing sandwiches. You can also use the parboiled Broccoli Raab in scores of other dishes like lasagna, frittatas, quiches and savory winter bread puddings. You can even substitute parboiled Broccoli Raab for part or all of the basil in pesto.

Sautéed Broccoli Raab
  • 8 cups cleaned Broccoli Raab (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 chopped Garlic cloves
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: golden raisins, toasted pine nuts
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Cut off the thicker tough bottoms of the Broccoli Raab stems and any large tough leaves. Tear off remaining medium to large leaves; scissor cut into smaller pieces or ribbons. At this point, you should have about 8 cups of cleaned Broccoli Raab. Wash it extremely well in cool water.

    Like Spinach, Broccoli Raab cooks down to a fraction of its original bulk. Bring a medium large pot of salted water to a full boil. Add the cleaned Broccoli Raab in parts to the boiling water, stirring to combine. Cook for a minute or two until the leaves are wilted and it is bright green. Pour the parboiled Broccoli Raab into a colander or strainer and either spray with cold water to stop the cooking and retain its vivid bright greenness, or submerge in an ice bath. Drain the Broccoli Raab well. Place in layers of paper towels to remove any excess moisture. At this point, you can go on to make the final recipe, chill it overnight or even freeze it for use over the winter.

    Sauté the chopped or thinly sliced Garlic in olive oil for a minute or two. Add the parboiled Broccoli Raab and crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. This base recipe can be served as a side to which you can add some raisins or cooked white beans, and garnish with toasted pine nuts, a fresh drizzle of olive oil and grated Parmesan. It’s the perfect mate for any sort of pork.

    For a pasta dish, cook the pasta and add a ladle or two of hot pasta water to the sautéed Broccoli Raab, check the seasonings and serve it tossed into the pasta with sliced grilled sausages and grated Parmesan.

    If you’re using it in a sandwich with sliced porchetta or grilled Italian sausages, top it with fontina cheese and melt it under the broiler quickly.