For years, I've cooked broccoli rabe like this, with garlic and red pepper. Here, I use large, mild, flavorful elephant garlic, cutting it into flakes with a vegetable peeler. Frozen baby peas are a wonderful complement to seasoned broccoli rabe, giving a hint of sweetness that balances the slight bitterness of the greens. This fricassee goes well with poultry as well as meat.
1-1/4 pounds broccoli rabe (about 10 cups lightly packed)
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 large elephant garlic clove, cut with a vegetable peeler
into flakes or thin slices (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cut off the bottom 4 inches from the stems of the broccoli rabe. Peel them to remove the tough, fibrous outer layer. Using a small paring knife, grab the skin at the end of one stem and pull; it will come off easily. Go around each stem in this manner, removing the fibrous exterior. Cut the broccoli rabe into 2-1/2-inch pieces, wash, and drain in a colander.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When it is hot, sauté the garlic and crushed red pepper in the oil for 30 seconds. Add about one third of the broccoli, still wet from washing, and stir so that the garlic flakes come to the top of the mixture instead of burning underneath it. Add the remaining broccoli, cover, and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Add the peas and salt, and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes longer, or until most of the moisture is gone and the peas are hot.
Serve immediately, or cool, cover, refrigerate, and reheat in a microwave oven at serving time.
Jacques Pepin Fast Food My Way
by Jacques Pepin
Photographs by Ben Fink
Hardcover; 224 pages, $30.00
Illustrations: Full color with more than 60 photos
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created October 2004
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