Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cooking with Rapini

If you grew up in an Italian family and your mom told you to eat your greens, my money is on the fact that it was probably rapini that made it to the table. Since I’m not Italian, I didn’t grow up with this hearty green, also known as broccoli rabe. But I see it a lot on the menu of Italian restaurants.

It’s funny that it’s sometimes called broccoli rabe because it doesn’t remind me of broccoli at all, except for maybe the stalks, which has the same texture as broccoli, but it definitely doesn’t look like it. It actually reminds me a lot of choy sum, which ironically is called Chinese broccoli. Wait, maybe they’re all related?!

Anywho, I saw fresh rapini for sale at my local farmers market recently so I decided to cook with it for the first time. I made a simple pasta dish, throwing in some yellow Yukon potatoes that I also found at the market. Yukon potatoes are really creamy, and the ones I bought were baby potatoes so they were so cute I decided to throw them in after roasting them. You don’t have to roast the potatoes, but I have a thing for roasted potatoes so whenever I can mix in potatoes to a dish, I will.

So actually this is a great dish to make whenever you have leftover roasted potatoes. Just toss them with rapini and some pancetta and you’ve got yourself a meal. Enjoy!


Jenster said...

I recall a few years ago some Italian-American friends from New York who had moved here to Seattle were bemoaning the lack of broccoli rabe here in the Northwest. It was the first time I had heard of it and I STILL don't see it in at my local grocer's, even the upscale ones. But now I know to look for rapini.

Cookie said...

I had no idea rapini was the same as broccoli rabe!