Of all the bitter greens, broccoli rabe—also called rapini, broccoletti, and broccoli raab—is one of our favorites. Available year-round, it’s at its best in cooler weather. The vegetable’s leafy stalks and tender buds taste like a delicious hybrid of broccoli and mustard greens, with a robust, slightly bitter flavor that works great in pastas, on top of pizzas, or slow-cooked as a side dish. Toss blanched and chopped broccoli rabe with goat cheese, red chile flakes, lemon zest, and delicate orecchiette for a bright, spicy take on pasta salad; sauté it with garlic for a pungent side to pair with parmesan-crusted fish; or cook it gently in a water bath over medium-low heat for an hour or so, until it turns mellow and supple, to serve alongside Italian sausage.
HOW TO BUY
Choose broccoli rabe with thin stalks and few flowers; avoid any that are yellowing or that smell like cabbage.
HOW TO STORE
Wrap stalks in a damp paper towel and store in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Avoid storing it near ethylene-emitting produce such as apples or pears.
HOW TO PREPARE
Trim off tough ends of the stalks, if needed; rinse thoroughly and pat dry.