February 26, 2015

See Jane Cook is a free weekly Internet food newsletter written by Jane Snow and published by Mimi Vanderhaven. Sign up here to have newsletter appear every Wednesday in your email in box. Join us!

Before I left behind the ice and snow for a road trip to Florida with a friend, I found this column for you to enjoy. I wrote it in 2004 for my former Second Helpings newsletter. I’ll return this week in time for the annual Lauren Braman Memorial Chili Cook-Off Saturday (Feb. 28) at Copley High School. Join me from 6 to 9 p.m. to taste a dozen or more chilies plus desserts. Proceeds are earmarked for programs for teen-agers in the oncology unit at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Dear friends,

Over the years, bunch after bunch of rapini made its way home from the store, into my refrigerator and eventually into the garbage. I didn’t know what to do with it, but ever the optimist, I kept buying.

Now I know. Several times recently I have made rapini with potatoes and garlic. It is a wonderful side dish. The buttery yellow potatoes absorb the garlic flavor and offset the slight bitterness of the rapini.

Make no mistake: rapini – also called broccoli rabe – is a bitter vegetable. That is its charm. Like arugula, it assaults the palate.

Italian cuisine in particular seems to have a thing for pairing bitter with unctuous, each flavor heightened by the presence of the opposite.

Rapini is sold in most grocery stores. It looks like broccoli that never matured – lots of leaves with a few scraggly broccoli crowns. You eat both the leaves and crown, along with the stalk.

I found this recipe in “Umbria” by Julia Della Croce, a cookbook I’ve been dipping into. I like that the rapini and potatoes may be cooked in advance, then finished just before serving – not that I’ve been organized enough to do it. But, ever the optimist, I keep hoping.
SAUTEED RAPINI WITH POTATOES
•    2 Yukon Gold potatoes
•    1 1/2 lbs. rapini (broccoli rabe)
•    1 tbsp. sea salt
•    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
•    4 large cloves garlic, chopped
Scrub potatoes and cover with cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Peel, cut in quarters lengthwise, then cut crosswise into medium-thin slices.

Peel skin from the tough lower stalks of the rapini and trim the ends. Cut crosswise into 3-inch lengths. Place in a large pot of boiling water, add the sea salt and cook until the stalks are tender but not soft, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking liquid.

In a large, heavy skillet heat the olive oil and garlic over low heat until the garlic is soft but not colored, about 5 minutes. Raise heat to medium and add greens and potatoes. Stir well, then raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. If too dry, add a bit of the cooking liquid. Makes 4 servings.
Please note: If your email address changes, you must re-subscribe to my newsletter in order to continue receiving it. We are unable to change the address for you in  our email list. The procedure is easy. Just click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of a newsletter.  Then go to  http://www.janesnowtoday.com, to sign up under your new address. Thank you.

Please tell your friends about my blog site (https://janesnowtoday.wordpress.com/ ), where you can find not only each week’s newsletter but archives of past newsletters.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s