Most of my experience with broccoli rabe involves a saute pan, some olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. It’s a great, quick dish, with the bitter greens balancing the spicy kick of pepper flakes. But after finding some great looking ones at the market, I wanted to see what else the bitter green could do. I wanted some balance. I wanted something the fiancee would eat, too.
I found this recipe in Food and Wine and it does saute the green with some garlic, but it also adds lemon and butter, which really round out the sharp edges of the dish. It’s a little more refined. It actually ends up looking like creamed spinach, which was perfect, because I sided it up next to a large, bloody ribeye. It was the perfect foil to that well seasoned slab of beef.
- 1 pound broccoli rabe, thick stems removed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons ricotta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Toss in the broccoli rabe. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove to a colander to drain. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water and then coarsely chop.
Mix together the butter and lemon zest in a bowl. It helps if the butter is at room temperature, or maybe warmed very quickly until softened.
In a large pan, pour half of the oil in and turn the heat to medium. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Add the rest of the oil to the pan. Over medium heat, saute the garlic for three minutes. Toss in the chopped broccoli rabe and stir until combined with the garlic. Add the butter mixture and the lemon juice, remove from the heat, and stir again.
Season with salt and pepper, and top with the ricotta and pine nuts.