Nutritious, refreshingly bitter broccoli rabe sometimes gets passed over in the market because cooks don’t exactly know what to do with it. We think of it as a sexier alternative to regular broccoli: darker, leafier, bolder, and way more rustic. Big bunches of broccoli rabe—often with yellow flowers—are available nearly year-round and, like its cruciferous cousins, can be roasted, steamed, braised, or simply sautéed, as it is here, with olive oil, sliced shallots, and red pepper flakes. Look for unwilted bunches of broccoli rabe with no yellowing in the leaves and stalks that don’t look dried out.
We featured this recipe in our Christmas Day Feast, Italian Style photo gallery.
- Yield: 2 to 3 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 15 mins
- Active: 10 mins
- 1 pound broccoli rabe, ends trimmed and sliced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Fill a large pot with heavily salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook the broccoli rabe until the stalks are just tender when pierced with a knife, about 2 minutes.
- Drain the broccoli rabe and place in the ice water bath until cool. Remove, shake off excess water, pat dry with paper towels, and set aside. (If not cooking immediately, store in the refrigerator in a resealable plastic bag lined with paper towels for up to 1 day.)
- Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When it shimmers, add the shallots and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.
- Add the red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Add the reserved broccoli rabe and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning as needed, and serve.