Friday, August 14, 2015

Sautéed Rapini with Garlic and Chili Flakes...

How can something so simple taste so good? This is the case of bright green rapini, part of the broccoli family. Rapini is sometimes noted interchangeably with broccoli rabe, but rapini has fewer florets and a less bitter flavour similar to mustard greens. In this simple five-ingredient sauté, you can get a tasty spicy garlicky green side on the table in a flash, perfect for a meaty main... And tonight, I am grilling steaks!  Oh, it's also incredibly delicious topped in a sandwich!

Choose rapini that is firm with relatively few buds and flowers- avoid yellowed flowers and leaves or stalks that are heavily split at the bottom indicating age. Refrigerate unwashed rapini wrapped in a wet paper towel placed into a plastic bag in the crisper for four days. In Ontario, they are in season from July to October. Flavour affinities include: anchovy, balsamic vinegar, butter, cheese, chilies, garlic, lemon, chicken, beef, sausage and pasta.

Sautéed Rapini with Garlic and Chili Flakes

Makes 4 servings

1 bunch rapini
1 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped or thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. dried red chili flakes
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Bring large skillet with salted water to a boil. Trim and discard bottom 1/2-inch of rapini stems and remove wilted or yellowed stems and leaves. Add rapini to water. Blanch for one minute to soften and rid most of its bitterness. Drain in a colander.

Dry skillet. Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic and chili; cook for one minute. Add drained rapini, salt and pepper. Cover. Cook, tossing occasionally, until rapini is tender, about two minutes (If skillet is dry, add a splash of water). Serve hot.

Voilà! A cinch...

Perfect served with meaty grilled steaks, steamed sweet potatoes, grilled sweet peppers, butter-sautéed garlic mixed mushrooms, avocado slices with onions and lime. An alternative non-spicy side of stir-fried snow pea leaves with garlic also graced the meal.

Delicioso!! Now that's what I call a satisfying dinner to sit and unwind down to after a busy week!

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