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Rapini with Garlic and Red Pepper

Rapini with Garlic and Red Pepper

The vegetable side dishes of Italy known as contorni change with the seasons and are typically served alongside the meat-based main course. Here, we feature a recipe for rapini, also called broccoli rabe. A relative of common broccoli, this bright green vegetable has a mild, pleasantly bitter taste with overtones of sweet mustard. It's prepared simply in the Italian style-sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with garlic and red pepper flakes. Serve alongside our Florentine steak (see related recipe at left).


  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch rapini
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes


Have a large bowl of ice water ready. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water generously. Add the rapini and cook for 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the rapini to the ice water and let cool, then drain well in a colander.

In a large nonstick sauteuse or sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until golden brown, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the rapini and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and serve immediately. Serves 2.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.