Thursday, January 24, 2013

New ingredient challenge - broccoli rabe

Well, I finally got around to trying one of Kim O.'s challenges. I used broccoli rabe for the first time last night. I've seen it in the grocery store lots, specifically the Asian stores, but have never ventured to purchase it. Basically, I shy away from vegetables that I think look like weeds.
broccoli rabe - definitely looks like a garden weed

The recipe was chicken tenders with mushroom sauce. It's from a 30 minute suppers magazine put out by America's Test Kitchen. Everything we have tried from this book has been good, so we had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, neither Derek nor I loved it. The broccoli rabe has quite a bitter taste and the sauce in this recipe added no sweetness. We would probably try the recipe again, but use regular broccoli or bok choy instead. Also, not the most appealing looking meal.

the end result - not a total success

As an aside, if anyone sees a new version of the America's Test Kitchen 30 Minute Suppers magazine, please let me know as I would really like a new one. Mine is from 2010.


  1. I had no idea this is what Broccoli Rabe was! I am very familiar with it, though - it looks a lot like gai lan (or perhaps this is its chinese name?), which happens to be one of my favourite stir fry vegetables...but yes, it is super bitter...perhaps an acquired taste since I grew up with it? What was in your sauce?

  2. That's funny - i totally thought this was gai lan too...but maybe it's slightly different? The leaves look a bit different, more ragged edges than gai lan.

    We've actually been growing gai lan in the garden (it's one of our favorites as well!), but I can tell you the key (apparently, after getting advice from Mark's aunt) is to harvest stocks while they're young (~6"). We have a habit of planting things and then leaving for weeks on end during the summertime for field work, which because of the heat and lack of rain this past summer caused serious problems in the garden. Anyways, the gai lan went crazy, grew super big and bolted. We tried to eat the stocks but they were tough and inedible. I decided it was best to just throw up my hands in defeat...saved the seeds from the plants that bolted, and try again this year.

    Wish me luck.

    And don't give up on brocolli rape/gai lan (if they are related) can be amazing in the right dish!