Healthy Recipe, Lemony Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Broken Burrata Cheese
Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, is a cruciferous vegetable not to be confused with its tougher broccoli cousin. It has dark green leaves with a bitter, peppery flavor similar to mustard greens, slender stalks, and buds that resemble broccoli florets, but never develop into a large head. The plant is 100 percent edible, loaded with nutrients, and typically chopped up and sauteed in olive oil with garlic, a squeeze of citrus, and perhaps a few shakes of red pepper flakes.
This recipe, lightly adapted from one in popular blogger Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen Keepers: New Classics for Your Forever Files (Knopf, $ 35), shows how to instantly turn that classic side dish into a hearty vegetarian entrée by topping it with a ball of burrata cheese. Similar to mozzarella but richer and milkier, its center oozes like a poached egg when cut into — a creamy foil to the pungent greens beneath. Serve it with a hunk of whole-grain bread, or perhaps a baked russet or sweet potato, and you’ll have a rib-sticking, no-waste meal in under 30 minutes. Serves 2 to 4. RECIPE HERE. -- Susan Puckett
· 1 large lemon
· 12 ounces broccoli rabe, also called rapini
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
· 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
· ¼ teaspoon ted pepper flakes, plus more for sprinkling
· ½ teaspoon kosher salt to taste
· 8-ounce ball burrata cheese, drained, patted dry, and brought to room temperature
1. Grate the zest from the lemon and set aside. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice from half the lemon into a small bowl, and cut the other half of the lemon into 4 small wedges. Set them aside as well.
2. Cut the stems and leaves of the broccoli rabe into bite-size segments.
3. In a large skillet with a lid, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.
4. Add the garlic, lemon zest, and ¼ teaspoon of the red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic turns light golden, 1 or 2 minutes. Add the rabe and ½ teaspoon of the salt and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
5. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover with a lid, and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove the lid and cook, stirring, for another minute or so, allowing excess liquid to evaporate.
6. Transfer the rabe to a low bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice. Make a nest in the center of the greens and add the burrata ball. Cut into the ball with a knife and allow the center to spill out a bit onto the greens.
7. Drizzle the burrata with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with a more salt and red pepper flakes. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.