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Cime di Rape sauteed with garlic & chilli

Cime di Rapa always arrives without warning and like asparagus it signals the start of Spring. Also known as Broccoli Rabe this has that hint of bitterness and delicious flavours that we love. A good substitute, though not the same plant, are Turnip Tops which may be easier to find in Northern Europe where we live. Our local farm shop, the McNally Family Farm, grow the southern European variety so we’re lucky to get this too.

Be careful when trimming that you discard any thicker parts of the stem as these will be woody when cooked.

Cime di Rapa with Garlic & Chilli – serves 4 as a side

  • 800g cime di rapa, cut the leaves and only the very finest stalks (discard the thicker central stalks) into 5-10 cm lengths, but keep the little central shoot that looks like broccoli intact
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a good pinch of crushed dried chilli flakes

Boil the cime di rapa in plenty of boiling salty water until tender, start checking after 4 minutes but it may take longer if mature. Drain and spread out to steam dry or if you’re ready to go you can remove from the water with tongs, give them a shake and put straight into the pan as instructed below.

Fry the garlic in the oil until starting to brown. Add the chilli and fry for a few seconds, then add the cime di rapa, and plenty of seasoning. If fully drained add a splash of water to the pan too. Fry until hot and the water has been absorbed.

(Original recipe from Bocca Cookbook by Jacob Kennedy, Bloomsbury, 2011.)

 

 

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