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Rapini or broccoli rabe is a green, cruciferous vegetable with edible leaves, buds, and stems. The buds resemble broccoli, but do not form a large head. Rapini has a slightly bitter taste, and is part of Mediterranean cuisine.
I learned how to make Rapini and Beans as a teenager in Avellino, Italy (in the Campania region). Although I serve this dish to family and friends year round, it’s especially comforting during the cold winter months. Make this dish in minutes and enjoy it with crusty bread and a glass of wine. You’ll warm up in no time!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 whole garlic cloves
1 bunch fresh Rapini, cut into one-inch pieces; rinsed & drained
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt
One 15.5-ounce can Cannellini, Navy, Great Northern or other white beans
Freshly-grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, as garnish (optional)
1. On medium-high setting, heat olive oil in a 4-quart sauce pot.
2. When oil is hot (but not smoking), add the garlic cloves.
3. On medium-high heat, stir-fry garlic until it turns golden brown (not blackened).
4. When garlic is golden brown, add the cut and rinsed rapini.
5. Let the mixture warm through.
6. When rapini mixture sizzles or bubbles, add 1-1/2 cups cold water.
7. When the rapini and water come to a boil, stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt.
8. Rinse and drain the beans; add them to top of rapini mixture in saucepot.
9. Warm through and taste. Adjust salt level, if needed.
10. Serve Rapini and Beans immediately with slices of crusty Italian bread, if desired.
11. Garnish with grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional) and enjoy with white wine.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real