The kinder, gently broccoli!
A green cruciferous vegetable. The edible parts are the leaves, buds, and stems. The buds somewhat resemble broccoli, but do not form a large head. In fact, it appears quite “shaggy”. Broccoli Raab, or Rapini, has many spiked leaves that surround clusters of green buds that resemble small heads of broccoli. It is closely related to the turnip and turnip greens.
It is known for its slightly bitter taste, and is particularly associated with Italian, Galician, and Portuguese cuisines.
In Italy, it is called cime di rapa (literally meaning “turnip tops”), in Naples friarielli, and in Portugal and Spain grelos. It’s known by many names and often confused with similar vegetables, like broccolini, which is not the same.
Broccoli Raab is in the Brassica genus. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, napa cabbage, pak choi, turnip, rutabaga, rapeseed, canola, and mustard are all members of this over-performing genus that we often call cole crops or cruciferous vegetables.
The big news with broccoli rabe is its cancer-preventing potential. Like all Brassicas, it’s a rich source of glucosinolates, which your body converts to cancer-fighting sulforophanes and indoles. Studies show that these compounds are particularly effective against stomach, lung, and colon cancers, and promising research hints at protective effects against breast and prostate cancers as well.
A 3 1/2-ounce serving of broccoli rabe provides more than half your daily requirement of antioxidant-rich vitamins A and C, both of which fight off dangerous free radicals that can cause damage to your body’s cells.The bitter green is also a good source of folate (a B vitamin that protects against birth defects and heart disease), not to mention potassium, fiber, and calcium.
A staple in the Italian kitchen, broccoli raab shines as a counterpoint to starchy, sweet, and spicy foods (think: pasta and garlic), and it makes as much of an impact on your health as it does on your taste buds.
Blanch for 3 minutes to speed saute time in the kitchen, or before freezing for later use.
Once sauteed, broccoli raab can be added to pizza, pasta or sandwiches deliciously. Try it in lasagne!
Find many recipes and ideas for using broccoli raab here on our website at TeenasPrideCSA.com.