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    • Randy Graham

    • January 25, 2013 in Columnists

    Rapini with Cremini Mushrooms

    Rapini with Cremini Mushrooms

    When I first heard of rapini, I thought it was what you did to get down the side of a steep mountain. When I found out that it is a form of broccoli and that some foodies call it rabe [pronounced RAHB], I had to mentally shift gears.

    According to the Food Network Encyclopedia, rabe (or rabb) is:

    A vegetable related to both the cabbage and turnip family, the leafy green broccoli raab has 6- to 9-inch stalks and scattered clusters of tiny broccoli-like buds. It’s also called American gai lan, brocoletti di rape, Italian broccoli, rabe, rape and rapini. The greens have a pungent, bitter flavor that is not particularly popular in America where, more often than not, they’re used as animal fodder. Italians are particularly fond of broccoli raab, however, and cook it in a variety of ways including frying, steaming and braising. It can also be used in soups or salads.

    I am fond of sautéed rapini with mushrooms and garlic. Here is my simple vegan recipe for spicy rapini. Serve as a side dish or as a tapas appetizer.

    2 large bunches of rapini
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    3 cloves garlic (sliced thin)
    2 cups cremini mushrooms (sliced)
    Red pepper flakes
    Salt to taste

    Rinse rapini and trim ends. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

    Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and simmer for about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes or until just tender. Add salt, to taste, and a good pinch of red pepper flakes (more if you like it super spicy).

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