Broccoli Rabe


Broccoli Rabe is wonderfully crunchy, somewhat bitter and a little tangy. In order to preserve the crunchiness and taste of the rabe, this recipe involves a very easy cooking process called “blanching.” With blanching, the vegetable is dunked in boiling water and then immediately cooled off in an ice bath.

1 tablespoon sesame oil

4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

1 teaspoon rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Pinch red pepper chili flakes (optional)

1 bunch broccoli rabe

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds (optional)


  1. In a small bowl combine sesame oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking to incorporate. To add a little kick to the dressing, sprinkle red pepper chili flakes and whisk again.
  2. Blanch broccoli rabe: leave bundled and uncut. Fill a deep bowl with 10-12 ice cubes and water for ice water bath. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once water is boiling, hold the rabe by the end of the stems and dunk into the boiling water until only 2 inches are showing, and hold it there for 1 minute. Take rabe bunch out of the water and immediately dunk it into the ice water bath, making sure it is completely covered. Let the rabe sit in the ice bath for 2-3 minutes, then drain on paper towel and pat dry.
  3. Cut the unblanched ends off rabe stems and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Note: if you’d like to serve the broccoli rabe at room temperature or hot, first cut it into 1-inch pieces, and then quickly sauté on high heat. This should not affect the texture.
  5. Cut the unblanched ends off rabe stems and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  6. Drizzle sesame dressing over rabe and toss gently. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top for appearance and taste, if using.
Serving Size:
Makes 3-4 servings.
Seattle Tilth
Allyse Ingalls, Community Kitchens Northwest intern.