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Actually 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.
Typically available year-round, Rapini's peak season begins in late summer through early fall
Low in sodium and very low in calories, one cup 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.
Cooked and treated like broccoli, rapini cooks rapidly and can suddenly soften to mush. Quick cooking is required. Steam, stir-fry, sauté, braise or boil. Blanching a minute or two in boiling salted water mellows the flavor. Drain; dry and prepare as desired. To store, wrap in plastic; refrigerate for only a few days.
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.
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|