Here’s an interesting fact about strong-tasting foods: If you ate it during childhood, you’re more likely to love it as an adult. For me, that food is broccoli rabe. My Neapolitan grandma used to cook it for hours in a huge pot, occasionally stirring the oil, garlic, and vegetables with a wooden spoon, before serving with Romano cheese. The smell of sautéed robbies (as my family fondly calls them) still makes my mouth water — but many people don’t have the same reaction. Broccoli rabe is, admittedly, quite bitter. While nothing makes that flavor completely disappear, there are several things you can do — including a quick boil — to help reduce the bitterness.
How To Cook Broccoli Rabe So It Tastes Less Bitter
The first step in making broccoli rabe less bitter? Boil it for about five minutes. A quick boil (longer than a blanch) before a sauté helps greatly reduce bitterness, though it does result in a loss of nutrients. Many vitamins, like B-1, folate, and C, are water soluble, so they leach into the water as the vegetable boils. (To mitigate this loss of vitamins, save the water and use it to make veggie stock or add it to your morning smoothie.)
Next, cook your robbies low and slow, with a…