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Rapini is botanically a kind of non-heading broccoli. Rapini looks much like tiny bunches of broccoli on long stems nestled among spiky large leaves. A yellow flower or two may appear. Seriously aggressive in the flavor department, this deep green vegetable delivers a ferocious pungent-bitter taste. If given a culinary chance, fans become quite addicted to its extremely bold presence. Rapini is not to be eaten raw.
Rapini is available winter through spring.
Rapini has always been widely grown and cultivated in Italy and Asia. It now grows in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Because Americans resist bitter foods, rapini has not traveled far beyond the Chinese and Italians. Specialty Produce enthusiastically endorses and adamantly promotes our local California growers, ranchers, farmers and the California farming industry.
Very low in calories and low in sodium, one cup of rapini contains about 40 calories. An excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, rapini provides a good source of potassium and a fair amount of iron and calcium.
Rapini cooks rapidly and can suddenly soften to mush. Cooked and treated like broccoli, quick cooking is required to maintain this vegetable's delicate integrity. Steam, stir-fry, sauté, braise or boil. Blanching a minute or two in boiling salted water mellows the flavor.
This powerful green has been slow to catch on in the culinary world of America due to its rather extreme bitterness. The Chinese and Italians have held high esteem for rapini and realize its usefulness in cooking. Also called choy sum, Chinese markets offer a sweeter and milder choy sum compared to others.
Locally grown at McGrath Family Farms in Camarillo, California, McGrath Family Farms has been growing exceptional produce since 1972. One hundred percent organic, this successful farm grows fifty to sixty-five different produce items on its thirty-five to fifty-four acres of fertile land.
Recipes that include Rapini. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Mediterranean Baby||Linguine Fra Diavolo w/Broccoli Rabe and Hot Italian Sausage|
|A La Mode*||Orecchiete With Sausage and Rapini|