sautéed broccoli rabe

broccoli rabe cracker

We are a big appetizer family.  It can be as informal as a bag of Tostitos and burning hot salsa, with my son stealing dollops of sour cream, or it could be as involved as pulled pork chalupas topped with guacamole.  Last weekend, my girlfriend was over our house, and was generously preparing an awesome dish of shrimp in Thai coconut broth for us, so I wanted to keep the appetizer healthy too.  I had an old recipe for broccoli rabe that I wanted to try because it was different from how my husband makes it, since he usually mans the rabe station.  I was curious to see if it would taste any different.  So I got the chance to make it when he opted to leave the two ladies in the kitchen to chat it up, and busy himself in the family room watching the Flyers lose.  During intermissions, he kept visiting the kitchen to see what was coming out of it other than all the chatter.  I placed the bowl of the sautéed broccoli rabe before him and cut up some provolone cheese and waited.  The bowl was gone in 10 minutes.  He asked me to make it again this weekend so I guess he liked it.  The difference between his preparation and mine, is that I trimmed off the thicker stems and then blanched the broccoli rabe for barely 5 minutes before sautéing.  He sautés and steams his in wine or beer.  I like it prepared either way.  His retains more of the bitterness, but I have a palate for that.  The way I prepared it made it seem brighter and sweeter….unlike my personality….haha.

broccoli rabe floretgarlic

sautéed broccoli rabe: 

2  bunches broccoli rabe (about 2 lbs), tough ends discarded
3  TB extra virgin olive oil
4  garlic cloves sliced
crushed red pepper
1/4 cup water
kosher salt and pepper

garlic and crushed red pepper

get started on the broccoli rabe:

After you have trimmed and discarded any thick stems from the broccoli rabe, add the remaining broccoli rabe to a large pot of boiling, salted water.  Blanch for 5 minutes until some of the thicker stems are softened.  Remove and drain completely in a colander.  In a sauté pan, cook the garlic and crushed red pepper in oil over medium heat.  Stir occasionally so that the garlic becomes golden but not burned, about 2 minutes.  Add the broccoli rabe, water, and salt and pepper to the pan.  Stir uncovered about 2 minutes.  You want the broccoli rabe to remain a bright green.  Serve in a bowl with a serving fork for topping crostini or crackers.


note:  Watch that clock when blanching…much more than five minutes and you have green mush.  This also makes a great side dish for fish or pork chops.  You get a good amount of appetizer servings for a group of 4 or 5.

sautéed long hot green peppers

peppers and provolone

My husband realized today that I was giving away HIS recipe to the internet.  I told him it was for the better good of mankind.  He went back to watching football.  I guess seeing me in the corner taking snapshots of my dishes hit home today when he was about to dig into his peppers, and I had to hold him up for the final photo.  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  The light went on…the recipe is going public.  No big deal really, but it was funny to see him pause for that split second.
This appetizer is great if you don’t mind the risk of blindingly hot peppers once in a while.  These particular ones were quite mild – a disappointment in our household.  I guess it depends on the time of year, how new or old the peppers are – I am not sure.  Guess I could Google that….anyway, sometimes you get ones that are intense and sometimes not.  I suppose if you were to test one out raw, and flames start coming out of your mouth, that you might consider seeding them before sautéing them.  We usually pair the peppers with crostini or crackers and add cheese.  It’s hard to just eat one…even with your nose running and tears in your eyes.

long hot green peppers

sautéed long hot green peppers

15 – 20  long hot green peppers, halved (seeded optional)
1  TB olive oil
2  cloves garlic, minced
1  tsp. kosher salt
1  bottle of lager or light beer

get started on the peppers:

Rinse the peppers.  Cut off the tops of the peppers and halve them.  In a large sauté pan, add olive oil and bring to medium high heat.  Add peppers and sauté until lightly browned and add salt and garlic.  Cook an additional 2 minutes.  Pour in beer and stir.  Cover and let cook for 15 minutes.  Remove lid and cook an additional 5-7 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Test peppers to see if additional salt is needed, and serve.

halved pepperssautéed long hot peppers

note:  This serves about 4 people.