Appetites Abroad: Cooking With Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe rewards experimentation. With a season lasting from early fall to spring, broccoli rabe brings a bit of color to dishes during the colder months. The nutty, bitter flavor is prized overseas, and you’re likely to find broccoli rabe on many plates throughout Italy and Portugal. When paired with a variety of flavors, broccoli rabe can be an integral unifier to a rounded flavor profile. Take your customers on a journey with these dishes from around the world.


Spice compliments broccoli rabe nicely, which the Portuguese have mastered in their cooking. One of our favorite dishes pairs spicy Portuguese chorizo with garlic and sautéed broccoli rabe. This dish can be made very quickly, as you can (and should) cook everything together in the same pan!


Adding broccoli rabe to pasta is a classic combo in Southern Italian cuisine. Interestingly enough, broccoli rabe can be cooked properly in the same pot as your pasta, making it a fantastically time-effective method. This technique works double time, as cooking broccoli rabe in salt water cuts down on the bitterness. For an authentic dish, be sure to add a variety of flavors into your pasta. We’d recommend garlic, chili flakes, and a touch of lemon!


This northwestern region of Spain has been cooking with broccoli rabe for centuries. The winter green can be found on innumerable menus, but is often cooked in a dish known as lacon con grelos. Essentially boiled pork with a combination of broccoli rabe and other cold-weather greens, this winter dish will appeal to the adventurous eater. Though the Galicians traditionally use ham hocks or pig-ears, you can substitute these for fresh ham on the bone!


Our friends over at Andy Boy are masters when it comes to broccoli rabe. Be sure to visit their website and check out their recipe for Broccoli Rabe Mexican Skillet Bowls. The flavor combination is explosive, and gives broccoli rabe a chance to shine! Try serving it in the morning to start the day off right.