Were you a little surprised to see this last week? I was. I love broccoli rabe, but this wasn’t at all like the kind I get win the supermarket which is full of leaves with thicker stalks and no flowers. I decided to get to the bottom of this vegetable. Should be easy in this information age, right? Wrong. I couldn’t find much on spring rabe except that it was another name for broccoli rabe. But on many sites, people said the best kind of broccoli rabe – or rapini or one of its numerous other names – to get is the kind with crisp green leaves, thin stalks, and few open flowers. This is the kind we got. Hooray CSA! So here are four things about rabba, Italian turnip or whatever you want to call it.

-It is not related to broccoli. It is related to turnips.

-It is used in a lot of Italian and Chinese cooking. It is probably the most popular vegetable in Hong Kong.

-It is rich in folate, phytochemical indole-3-carbinol, and Sulforaphane. It fights cancer and helps detoxify you.

-4 out of 5 cooks agree, it’s best when blanched first.

Do you know anything else about spring rabe or have a favorite fruit or veggie you want to see in the spotlight? Email me at themamapapa@yahoo.com.

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