Although often referred to as Broccoli Raab, Rapini is more closely related to turnips. Imagine a sturdy green that grows looking a little like a spindly Broccoli plant. Rapini resembles broccoli in flavor with the addition of a nice nutty light bitterness like turnip greens. It is a quick growing vegetable that does well in partial shade and will mature in about 60 days. Many local farms grow Rapini so it shouldn’t be to hard to find at one of your local farmer’s markets. This recipe is a classic braised greens dish that originates from Sicily. Make it as an accompaniment to grilled meats, chicken and fish, or pair it with some crusty bread and a good sharp cheese for a great summer lunch.
Rapini alla Siciliana (yields 2-4 servings)
1 large bunch Rapini, washed, and cut into 1 inch strips
3 tbl pure olive oil
6 whole garlic cloves
2 anchovy fillets
1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes (or more if you like spicy)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup dry white wine
1. Heat a large saute pan on medium low with the olive oil and garlic cloves that have been lightly smashed to release the flavor. Cook slowly until the garlic is light brown and softened. Remove the garlic and set aside.
2. Increase the heat to high, add the anchovy fillets and cook until they dissolve. Add the Rapini, salt it and saute until it begins to go limp.
3. Stir in the chili flakes, reserved cooked garlic, pine nuts and raisins.
4. Add the white wine and braise until the Rapini wilts and the softens.
Kosher salt to taste