If you’ve ever had a broccoli rabe salad, you’ve had broccoli rabe leaves. Arguably the most commonly used part of broccoli rabe, the leaves offer a bitter nuttiness that pairs well with citrus, cheeses, and winter squashes. We love broccoli rabe salads so much that we even wrote an article about them!
- Flavor: Nutty and bitter
- Try Cooking: Broccoli rabe and kale harvest salad or broccoli rabe recovery juice
Unfortunately, broccoli rabe stems tend to get the short end of the stick from chefs, but this doesn’t mean they’re a lost cause. Broccoli rabe stems hold up well in the cooking process and are integral if you plan on stir-frying or grilling the entire plant. With that in mind, it’s still important to trim off any thick skin or overly tough sections on the stems; they can bring an unpleasant woodiness that will lower the quality of your overall dish.
- Flavor: Hearty and bitter
- Try Cooking: Stir-fried broccoli rabe
Unsurprisingly, this section of broccoli rabe is the closest to regular broccoli in both flavor and appearance. This means that you can treat the buds similarly to broccoli to great effect! Although often used in Italian cooking, broccoli rabe buds are also great options for sandwiches or beef dishes.
- Flavor: Earthy
- Try Cooking: Broccoli rabe risotto
- Pro Tip: Try altering some of these cooking methods for broccoli rabe!