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Braised Broccoli Rabe and Olives

Braised with garlic, olives, anchovies and wine, this is broccoli rabe like you’ve never had it before. It’s a versatile side dish for sausages, roast chicken or pork chops, or you can toss it with cooked pasta or use it as a topping on bruschetta.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 lb. (625 g) broccoli rabe, tough stems removed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil  
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 to 2 Italian oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped
      (optional)
  • Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) dry white wine
  • Kosher salt, to taste (optional)

Directions:

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli rabe and cook just until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and let cool for 5 minutes, then chop very coarsely.

In a large fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the garlic in the olive oil, stirring often, until the garlic is softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in the olives, anchovies and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Increase the heat to medium and add the broccoli rabe to the pan, stirring to combine. Pour in the wine, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially,
and braise until the broccoli rabe is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Ingredient demystified: Broccoli rabe is like broccoli’s older, cooler cousin. The two vegetables come from the same cruciferous family, but broccoli rabe is a bit stalkier and has more leaves. It also has a slightly more bitter taste and crunchier stalk. A bit of acid in the preparation (wine, vinegar, lemon juice) helps counter the bitter taste, but if you or your guests don’t like bitter vegetables (it’s a love-hate thing), you can substitute baby broccoli in most recipes.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cook Good Food (Weldon Owen, 2014).