Roasted Broccoli Rabe is a quick and easy side dish that goes with anything. In this version we gussy it up with some lemon zest and parmigiano reggiano and top it with toasted pine nuts.
Ugh, I don’t feel like counting. Let’s just talk about it, m’kay?
I’ve long been a fan of this über-healthy, often overlooked (in the states) member of the brassica family. Sautéed in olive oil with a little garlic and served alongside a steak. Delicious.
Roasted broccoli rabe yields a surprisingly different flavor and texture than it’s sautéed twin. It’s inherent bitterness gets mellowed out a bit. The stems get tender/chewy. But, for me, it’s all about the leaves.
The leaves, especially the ones in direct contact with the baking sheet, get as crunchy as kale chips. And that textural delight is what keeps us coming back for more.
Well, that plus the fact that it is so good for you.
And that it’s incredibly easy to make.
All you do is trim the bottoms and arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer. You really want to give them space because you want them to roast, not steam. If they’re packed in too tight you won’t get the crispy leaves. For that reason, I usually end up using two baking sheets to make a whole head of broccoli rabe.
In my house, when I just make half the bunch we always wish we had more. As I said, we really love roasted broccoli rabe. So make the whole thing.
Once your vegetables are on the baking sheet, you just massage the oil, garlic and lemon zest in to all the nooks and crannies of the vegetable. Get it nice and slick all over. Then you grate some parmigiano reggiano over it and roast for 10 minutes.
When it comes out of the oven, top with toasted pine nuts and serve. The pine nuts are optional, of course, but they really highlight the nutty flavor of the broccoli rabe. I encourage you to use them if no one at your table is allergic.
I’ve seen recipes for roasted broccoli rabe that call for cutting the vegetable up into bite size chunks before roasting it. But, aesthetically, I prefer the presentation with the whole stem in tact. What can I say? I’m a sucker for presentation. You can take the girl out of the theatre…
But, seriously, your eaters can cut it themselves after it’s been served, right?
What’s your favorite vegetable side dish and how do you prepare it? Let me know in the comments?
- 1 head fresh broccoli rabe, stem ends trimmed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lemons, zested
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- parmigiano reggiano
- 1 Tablespoon toasted pine nuts
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Arrange broccoli rabe in a single layer on two baking sheets.
Drizzle each sheet with half the olive oil and sprinkle with half the zest and garlic each.
Massage that into the broccoli rabe really well, making sure it's coated fairly evenly. Spread the stems back out evenly over the sheet, giving as much room as possible.
Grate parmigiano reggiano over the vegetables. Be generous. We're not using salt.
Roast for 10 minutes. Top with toasted pine nuts and serve.
Calorie information is approximate and will vary according to exact ingredients used and serving size.