Rapini goes by many names, such as broccoli rabe, rabe, American gai lan and Italian broccoli. Related to both the cabbage and turnip family, rapini is a leafy and bitter green with broccoli-like buds and longer stems (typically six to nine inch stalks).
Very popular in Italian and Asian cuisine, the slight bitterness pairs well with rich, slow cooked meals and helps to cleanse the palate. Often blanched in boiled salted water to help tame the bitterness. Rapini has a flavour that is nutty, bitter, pungent, and definitely an acquired taste.
You can add rapini to soup, stews or sauté with olive oil and garlic. For a special treat, use as a topping for crostini, pasta or on a decadent porchetta sandwich.
How To Select Rapini:
Rapini has deep green, long, thin stems with scattered clusters of broccoli-like buds. Make sure the leaves and stems are a bright green, with tight heads of green florets. They should not be wilted or yellow in colour.
How To Store Rapini:
Rapini should be wrapped in a plastic bag and refrigerated for up to 3 days. It’s best to use it right away.