Monday, December 17, 2012

Roasted Broccoli Rabe with Lemon and Parmesan

Of all the bitter greens out there, broccoli rabe is my favorite bitter green. I have had it sauteed, made into a pesto, used it as a pizza topping and baked it with pasta. But never had it roasted until now - it was perfect. A quick blanch and then roasted in a very hot oven with thinly sliced garlic, crisps the leaves a tiny bit and topped with parmesan and a squirt of lemon makes these greens divine. I like to add some dried chili flakes for kick, but you can omit them if spice is not your thing.

Broccoli Rabe with Lemon and Parmesan

1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive
2 large cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of one lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
A healthy dose of grated parmesan
¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes (or less if you don't like it spicy)

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil – a 4 quart pot works well. In the meantime, prepare the broccoli rabe. Separate the stems from the leafy parts and set aside. Wash the leaves and florets. Trim and peel the stems to remove the fibrous parts. Now the rabe is ready to be blanched.
3. Once the water comes to a steady boil, add the leaves and the stems and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and drain.
4. Toss the blanched rabe with extra virgin olive oil, salt, garlic and chili flakes if using. Lay it out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast in the middle rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and mix the lemon zest and sprinkle the grated parmesan over the rabe. Put the baking sheet back in the oven for another 2 minutes, till the parmesan is just melted.
5. Serve warm with a alio oglio pasta, roasted meats or fish.

Serves 3

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