Broccoli-Rabe is NOT Broccoli

You’ve probably heard of Broccoli-Rabe – and assumed it was a form of broccoli.  It DOES resemble broccoli with longer stalks and an abundance of edible leaves, but it is really a close relative of the turnip.  Broccoli Rabe is also called Rapini (now you’ll know what you’re looking at on a menu!), and it is a bit spicy (think mustard greens).  It is mildly bitter ( a GOOD kind of bitter), and the longer you cook it the more the bitterness cooks out.  You can get Rapini (Broccoli-Rabe) pretty much year round but it is in season now, and October/November produces the most flavorful of the year.  Loaded with good for you stuff, it’s great as a side dish by itself (try roasted or sauteed with some macerated golden raisins in broth if you want to go REALLY healthy), but my personal favorite way of eating it is tossing it through pasta with some olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, some toasted pine nuts, and a crushed clove of garlic, along with a few twists of black pepper and some grated asiago cheese.  You can get it this way as a vegetarian or vegan option from Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering  …Yum…I think I need to go cook some now!!!   To your health, AND your tastebuds!! – Lula