The Green Goddess: Broccoli Rabe and the Golden Boy


This is my second post on broccoli rabe and I can promise there will be more, many more, and why? Because broccoli rabe is FRIGGING AWESOME!


Rabe is full of vitamins and minerals (vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, calcium, and iron). Most cultures do their own thing with it, and one of my favorite thing to do with it…. and here I go again…. —when I was in Italy ha ha ha… I had it with sausages and orecchiette pasta. Check out Williams and Sonoma’s recipe for that delightful dish at

I am here to tell you about another way to prepare rabe, read on fellow rabe lovers…


Okay, I could go on and on and on and about rabe and how I ate it with Italian bread throughout my childhood during the summer months because that was the only time you could get it back in the dark ages, and how now I eat all winter because thank heavens you can get in January, which makes me a tad suspicious, but that is for another blog. I could probably eat rabe every frigging day of my life and I wouldn’t care if I turned green like a Martian. –Or green like I turned when I was a flight attendant and was told by the pilot, while hovering over Miami for an hour, that the landing gear wouldn’t come down; I guess at this point you can safely surmise I love broccoli rabe and want to marry it.


Here is one of the recipes for rabe that I adore. In brief, I toss roasted sweet potatoes into the sautéed Rabe and the sweetness of the potatoes off-set the bitterness of the rabe, and made this way, I usually eat the entire thing all by myself and I don’t share one single morsel.


Okay so this is how I do it.

Peel a few sweet potatoes and cut them into small cubes and roast them in the oven with plenty of olive oil until brown and crunchy. I like the edges almost black.

Meanwhile, wash one bunch of rabe and chopped it up. I DO NOT like it cooked in whole stem pieces, for me it is not enjoyable to eat rabe in big hunks that you have to cut on your plate. It is always nice to think of your guests when making something that requires effort to eat. Chop it.

When the chopped rabe is still wet throw it in a pan of hot olive oil, now toss in a pinch of hot pepper flakes, salt, and plenty of chopped garlic and let it sizzle and splatter and watch your eyes, wear goggles if necessary and if you like wear bunny ears too. I am non-judgmental.

I like to fry it out good, until all the water is gone and it starts to fry, and when it is done, throw in the roasted sweet potatoes and toss.

Honestly folks this is outrageously delicious. Let me know how you like it… And by the way this is mega powerful food… Some cultures believe sweet potatoes have healing powers… And so with that said, your homework is to find out what culture believes this, and to write and let me know, get busy rabe freaks.


About johncpicardi

Welcome to my blog. I am the author of the novel Oliver Pepper's Pickle and the published plays The Sweepers and Seven Rabbits on a Pole, both plays have been produced off Broadway and around the US. I am a graduate of Johnson & Wales University where I majored in Culinary arts. I have a BA from The University of Massachusetts and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. This blog is about food and food memories and every other fantastic and scrumptious thing to do with it. My appetite and passion for food is large and runs deep, sometimes its indulgent and wild and other times wholesome and simple, often humorous and always immeasurable. I grew up outside of Boston and spent many hours of my childhood in front of the TV watching Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet) and Julia Child prepare all kinds of luscious meals that would make my mouth water. Other days I’d follow my mother and two grandmothers around their simple, tidy kitchens as they busily prepared hearty fragrant meals, hand-cut pastas, preserved fruits and vegetables, baked yeasty breads, spicy cookies and frosted lopsided cakes. I was there by their side asking questions and helping where needed and there were plenty of times I was ordered to leave if I was in their way. It was a given that by the time I graduated High School I would be going off to Johnson & Wales University to study Culinary Arts. Those years were fine and good. I loved the hands on creativeness of cooking whether it be the simple lesson of washing a sink full of colorful salad greens, trussing a chicken or peeling a gorgeous carrot or the complicated lessons of making a French Country Pate or Julia Child’s Cassoulet or making Brioche, it all thrilled me and my dream had arrived!
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12 Responses to The Green Goddess: Broccoli Rabe and the Golden Boy

  1. I’m not feeling the love with broccoli rabe but I only tried it once. I love almost all veggies … Hmmm maybe it deserves another try. I’ll let you know if I think it is frigging awesome. 😉


  2. kate magee says:

    Thanks for sharing this – you may just have solved my dilemma about what to serve vegan / raw food friends coming for dinner in a few days :). In the past, I have only used it with sausage as a pasta sauce (and love it that way)…looking forward to trying this recipe.


  3. I have never eaten broccoli rabe. I can hear your silent weeping. But I am the freak queen of sweet potatoes, so I must try this. Not to mention all that yummy garlic and the pinch of hot pepper flakes.


  4. takatucker says:

    I’ve never seen this vegetable in Japan. Italian vegetable?


  5. Your naming efficiency for a dish is interesting:) I love greens. An excellent recipe… Full of richness in terms if nutrients.


  6. Daisy Days says:

    Although I am sure it must be texturally inferior to this queen of green, I am so going to try this recipe with some of my allotment kale glut!


  7. Pingback: Kale and Hearty | Here's another COD Zone

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