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Spicy Broccoli Rabe Bruschetta

At its best in autumn and winter, broccoli rabe is closely related to mustard and has a mild, pleasantly bitter taste with overtones of sweet mustard. Choose broccoli rabe with bright green florets and leaves and yellow flowers that are just beginning to open.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. broccoli rabe
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 12 baguette slices, each 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

Directions:

Preheat a broiler.

Cut the broccoli rabe stems into 1/4-inch pieces and coarsely chop the leafy greens. Rinse and drain.

In a fry pan over medium heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add as much broccoli rabe as will fit into the pan. Increase the heat to high and add the remaining broccoli rabe as the first batch wilts. Season with salt and cook until tender, 4 to 10 minutes. If the pan seems too dry, add a splash of water. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and season with salt.

Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush the slices with olive oil. Broil until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Spread the cheese on the baguette slices and top with the broccoli rabe. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, by Tasha DeSerio & Jodi Liano (Weldon Owen, 2010).