OK, so our local Wal-Mart no longer carries Greek yogurt or garlic, but for whatever reason, there was broccoli rabe (or rapini) for sale next to the bok choy yesterday. I’d never seen broccoli rabe before. Heck, I’ve never even heard of it! And to find it at Clarion Wal-Mart, of all places, is as likely as finding Krispy Kreme’s at Whole Foods. Seeing as I’m always looking for new and interesting veggies, particularly of the green and leafy variety, I bought a bunch.
According to Gourmet Sleuth, “Broccoli rabe (pronounced broccoli rob) is also referred to as rabe or rapini. This is another leafy green vegetable that is frequently eaten in Southern Italy and has become popular in the United States. The vegetable has a slightly bitter taste and is frequently steamed or lightly sautéed in olive oil. “The Broccoli Rabe flower looks similar to the broccoli florets. Despite the name this plant is not a type of broccoli but it is in the same brassica family. One of the many health benefits of this vegetable is that it is rich in certain phytochemicals, including sulforaphane and indoles. These are chemicals which are proving to protect us against cancer.”
I did a quick search for online recipes and decided to wing it since most of the recipes called for sausage and pasta and all I wanted was some leafy green goodness.
I loosely chopped half the bunch of broccoli rabe and blanched it for about 2 minutes in a pan of boiling water. While it drained, I sautéed a couple cloves of fresh minced garlic in a half-teaspoon of olive oil, added a couple shakes of red pepper flakes and about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Then I added the broccoli rabe, heated it through, and sprinkled a tablespoon of grated parmesan on top.
Broccoli rabe is strong and bitter, but combined with all the other flavors, it was really very tasty. I can see how it would go well with pasta, beans or rice. If any of you have tried it and have a recipe, please share.
I’m getting closer to perfecting homemade fat-free refried beans. I cooked up some dried pinto beans this morning, mashed them this afternoon and added a mishmash of spices, then baked it all up in a covered casserole. I just ate a spoonful and I think I’m pretty close to getting the spices just the way I want them. They’re going in a Tex-Mex casserole I’m making tonight, so we’ll see how they get along with the other ingredients.
Have any of you made refried beans with black beans? I think I want to try making them next time. If you have a recipe, I’d love to see it!
That’s all for today. Short and sweet (or bitter, considering the rabe). Hope your week is off to a good and healthy start. I leave you with a little joke my friend Pam sent me today. After these refried beans, this may be the way I weigh myself tomorrow!