Archive for the 'Rapini' Category

Rapini and Caramelized Onions

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Philippe, Tucson CSA

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 gold onion, sliced into slivers, lengthwise
1 bunch rapini, cross-cut in 2-inch segments
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes or ground black pepper
Salt to taste

In a large skillet, heat oil to medium heat. Add onions and cook until slightly browned (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally.

While onions are cooking, blanch the rapini for 1 minute in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain.  Plunge into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking. Drain again. You can skip the blanching if you want to preserve the strong flavor of the rapini.

When onions are done, add chili flakes and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Toss in the rapini. Turn heat to high and cook until most of the moisture is gone, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt to taste.

Pasta with Roasted Rapini and Beans

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Philippe, Tucson CSA.  Adapted from BayAreaBites blog

1 bunch rapini, chopped in 1 inch pieces
1-2 cup cooked beans (e.g. pinto, blackeyed, mayocoba)
3-4 garlic cloves sliced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large baking dish, toss rapini and garlic with some olive oil and some salt.  Bake for approx. 10 minutes, or until the rapini stems are tender.  Don’t worry if the leaves become crisp; they’ll taste great.
Take the rapini out of the oven and set aside.
In a medium pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil and stir in the cooked beans.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add some water if desired.
Mix rapini with beans and serve on a bed of pasta.  Garnish with grated parmesan cheese.

About Rapini

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Rapini [rah-PEE-nee] is a vegetable of many names: a few of them are raab, rapa, rapine, rappi, rappone, taitcat, Italian or Chinese broccoli, broccoli raab, broccoli de rabe, Italian turnip, and turnip broccoli. It is a member of the Brassica genus, which includes mustard greens, cabbage, turnips, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.  This genus is remarkable for containing more important agricultural and horticultural crops than any other genus.  Brassica vegetables are highly regarded for their nutritional value. They provide high amounts of vitamin C and soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties.  Rapini in particular is a source of beta-carotene and vitamins C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.

It is commonly found in Mediterranean and Chinese cuisines but you are unlikely to find it in a common grocery store in the United States (although it is gaining popularity).  The Chinese cultivars are called hon tsai tai (which we also occasionally get at the Tucson CSA) or choi sum, and they tend to have a milder flavor than their Mediterranean cousins.

Its spiked leaves look like turnip leaves and may surround heads of florets which look similar to small, leggy heads of broccoli. There may be small edible yellow flowers blooming from the florets.

The flavor of rapini is reminiscent to that of broccoli but more pungent and slightly more nutty.  Its flavor is more complex than that of many greens as long as it is not overcooked.  It can be steamed, braised, sautéed, broiled, stir-fried or, even better, oven-roasted.  It pairs beautifully with beans or lentils, pork (try it with Italian sausage!) and chicken, and it works well as a side dish or in pasta dishes and soups.

Here’s an easy way to cook rapini: 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.  Sauté the blanched rapini in a little olive oil and as much garlic as you like for 3 to 5 minutes until tender. Optional – Add a few dried red pepper flakes.

Minestrone Alla Tucson CSA

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Lorraine Glazar, Tucson CSA (adapted from The Classic
Italian Cookbook, by Marcella Hazan, 1976)

I followed the classic technique from Marcella Hazan, but
substituted for winter ingredients, and what we had in our
shares. I love the direction “crust from a one to two pound
piece of Parmesan, carefully scraped clean”.

For 6 to 8 servings as a first course, 4 to 6 as a main meal

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery (or chard stems)
2 cups peeled, diced rutabaga (or potato)
1 cup cauliflower floweret’s (optional-some do not care
for their flavor in a mixed soup)

1 cup diced green beans (I had these frozen from August
2007, you may substitute frozen green peas)

3 cups finely sliced rapini leaves (minimize the use of
stems and flowers)

6 cups homemade vegetable stock or 2 cups canned
vegetable broth mixed with water

The crust from a 1 or 2 pound piece of Parmesan cheese,
carefully scraped clean (optional)

2/3 cup canned Italian tomatoes, with their juice
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

¾ cup dried white beans, cooked in advance or one can
white beans, drained and rinsed

Choose a stockpot large enough for all the ingredients. Put
in the oil, butter, and sliced onion and cook over medium low
heat until the onion is pale gold. Add the diced carrots
and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring once or twice. Repeat
this procedure with the celery (or chard stems), rutabaga
(or potato), cauliflower, and green beans (but not the
frozen peas), cooking each one a few minutes and stirring.

Then add the sliced rapini and cook for about 5 minutes,
giving the pot an occasional stir.

Add the broth, the cheese crust, the tomatoes and their
juice, and a little bit of salt. If you are using canned broth,
go easy on the salt until you taste the finished product.

Cover and cook at a very slow boil for about one hour. It
is still good if you only have 30 minutes, but the flavors
meld and deepen with longer cooking. If you find that the
soup is becoming too thick, add more homemade broth or
water, not more canned broth.

Fifteen minutes before the soup is done, add the canned or
pre-cooked beans and the frozen peas (if you substituted
them for the green beans). Just before turning off the heat,
remove the cheese crust, swirl in the grated cheese, taste,
then correct for salt.

Creamy Rapini Pasta

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Sara Jones, Tucson CSA

The creaminess of this dish is provided by hummus rather
than dairy. Use a packaged, prepared hummus for a really
simple recipe. Or you can make your own at home by
pureeing any cooked white bean with garlic, oil, lemon
juice, tahini and salt.

1 bunch rapini, cleaned and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 regular size package pasta
About ½ cup hummus

While pasta is boiling in well-salted water, sauté rapini in
olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. When
pasta is al dente, drain, reserving some of the cooking

Add pasta and hummus to greens and toss together.
Add pasta water, if needed, to help thin hummus and coat
pasta. Season with salt and pepper, if needed, and serve.

Mayocoba Beans with Broccoli Raab (Rapini)

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Lisa Janz, TCSA

1 lb dried beans
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 bay leaf
1 dried red chile pepper
7 sage leafs
5 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch of broccoli raab greens
1/2 tsp oregano
freshly ground pepper
hot red pepper flakes

1. Paula Wolfert suggests using filtered water with beans if tap water is heavly chlorinated. With Tucson water, the beans do have a much better flavour and texture when filtered water is used. Soak beans overnight. Cook beans in a non-reactive, oven-proof dish with garlic, bay, red chile pepper, sage, 1 tsp salt, and 4 tblsp olive oil. Cover everything with water 1 inch water. Cover with foil and top with a lid. Put in oven and then set oven to 450 degrees.
Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 225 degrees and back for 1 1/2 hours more. Discard leaves and pepper.

2. Shred greens and place in high-sided skillet with remaining olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes until greens are wilted and shiny. Transfer beans to pan a few at a time and
mash to a purée. Dilute with water to make the beans creamy and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Scalloped Potatoes and Greens

Monday, July 24th, 2006

By Philippe, Tucson CSA

4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch scallions (or I’Itoi onions), sliced
1 bunch greens (any greens), sliced in ribbons
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 dash nutmeg
1 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350˚. Lightly grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add scallions and sauté for one minute. Stir in flour until smooth.

Add milk and stir until thick and bubbly. Add salt, pepper, mustard and nutmeg. Stir in greens. Pour mixture over potatoes and mix well, but gently. Pour the potato mixture into baking dish. Cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-20
minutes, or until potatoes are tender.