Rapini

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Joined Jan 5, 2001
I once had the most delectable rapini in a restaurant: it was quite garlicky without being bitter or overpoweringly so, not mild but somehow the bitterness of the rapini was palatable. I don't have much practice cooking rapini and would like your help in figuring out how to contain the bitterness while still respecting the character of the vegetable. I made it tonight with onion, garlic, anchovy (nice), a bit of stock and some lemon juice. I think I was on the right track except that the stalks were tough, the tops were overdone and there was too much bitterness. Had I served the onion along with it it probably would have brought much needed sweetness but then it just wouldn't look presentable. I wish the flavour of the onion and garlic could exist without actually showing up in the final presentation. Also, how much are you supposed to trim off? Help?
 
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
I just wanted to say hi, Anneke. I don't know much about rapini, however In Cooking with Master Chefs, Lidia Bastianich mentions that removing the peel does remove bitterness.

Here's the way she prepares them and I quote:

From Orecchiette with Broccoli di Rape & Sausage. That's very good btw.

:rolleyes:
 
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Joined Aug 29, 2000
I've enjoyed them many times. I cook them in boiling water until about half done, then drain well and saute as you describe, Anneke (okay, I can't use anchovy). I also peel off the tough stems as Lidia suggests, and it does do the trick with the bitterness.
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Forgive my ignorance but what are rapini? I've never heard of it.
 
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Joined Jul 31, 2000
Iza,
rapini is Broccoli rabe,
It's in the mustard family but the mature shoots resemble broccoli before they flower.
Anneke,One of the inherit flavors of rapini is the bitterness,Peel as mentioned before,blanch and sqeeze dry.Please try ommiting the lemon juice from your saute..only increases the "Bitter" sensation.Try blanching some lemon Zest and added during the saute, Ilove broccoli rabe tossed in with penne and vodka sauce,Or sauteed with some fresh in season shrooms over grilled crostini.
cc
 
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Joined Apr 30, 2001
Wasn't rapini the vegetable in Rapunzel that got that poor old couple in so much trouble?
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Thanks for the explanation CC. I'll try to get some at the market next week and would love to try your recipe if you are willing to share it.

Nancy who is Rapunzel??
 
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"Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let down your hair!" Who could forget the Muppets version of that classic tale! I forget the story Iza. All I remember is Rapunzel locked up in a tower and untying her hair so that prince charming could climb up and save her. :rolleyes:
 
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Oh guys~ I love the bitterness. Saute with garlic, anchovies, peppericini, red pepperflakes alittle chicken stock with romano....mixed into orrechetta pasta. Comfort food at it's best...packed with flavor.
 
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Joined Jan 5, 2001
When is rapini done? I've read anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. What do you think?
 
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I had a cat named Rapunzel ~ LOL

Anneke: Your timing seems a little long but I will get back to you tonight (book at home).
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Kimmie, I did 8 minutes roughly last time. I just find that like brocoli, the stem and the tops don't have the same cooking times. However, if I peel them as you said, they might cook more evenly.
 
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
Anneke,

I checked 3 books so far and none of them give precise timing.

Alice Waters claims that the best way to cook it is to quickly sauté it in olive oil with a bit of garlic.

Lidia sautés it as well, mentioning several minutes.

Biba blanches hers...leaves me perplexed!

I guess you'll have to play it by ear.


:rolleyes:
 
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Blanche the stems or start sauteing them several minutes pre throwing in the tops.
I teach cooking and it's cook til they are done... whatever done means to you.
 
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YUM-MY! I tried it again tonight, this time peeled, blanched, sautéed with garlic and chili flakes, a touch of stock, mixed in with orrechiete, parmesan and romano. (A happy democratic mix of everyone's ideas, wouldn't you say?) Excellent result! Will not hesitate to do it more often. Thanks everyone! (thanks for your research Kimmie; Shroom, I cooked it all together this time and it was fine; peeling it helped achieve a more even doneness)
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Thanks Anneke it must be known under a different name in French. It doesn't seen to be in my Grimm Book.
 
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Joined Apr 30, 2001
Just for giggles, Iza, I looked it up in my English Grimms'. I have two versions and in one, the vegetable was radishes and in one it was rampion [???]. I would have sworn I read a version with rapini -- that was how they got the name Rapunzel.

LOL
 
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