Broccoli rave! Garden to table

After tossing a $4 bunch of broccoli rabe into a batch of cannelini beans, I thought, surely there's a better way.

There is.

I planted seeds in mid-April, fretting that because of its precious nature in the grocery, the rabe or raab (aka broccoletti or rapini) would malinger, loath to poke its verdent florets into our wan spring sun.

Un huh. Like a weed, it's growing. Bolting faster than scissors can cut.

There's been a learning curve re: preparation. For a more palatable presentation, remove the toughest stems, then chop into one- or two-inch pieces. It's lovely sauteed in olive oil, garlic and lemon.

And delish over pasta. Blanche it in the pasta water during the last five minutes of cooking your pasta, then top it with ample amounts of olive oil and garlic (six cloves?) sauteed therein and as many red pepper flakes as you can stand. Shower with kosher salt. And for dairy lovers, a dusting of romano. Optional: Kalamata olives with a drizzle of their juice is a nice touch.

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