Hello from Montana! I got my national parks mixed up, you guys. I might know the difference between shallots and scallions, but apparently not Yosemite and Yellowstone. Never listen to me when it comes to geography. Anyway, I knew I was visiting the park with geysers (Yellowstone!) and we toured them yesterday, in between sightings of elk, antelope, bison and the prettiest little blue birds. Words do not suffice.
I can’t help but notice that the color of cooked broccoli rabe matches the green foliage up here. Have you ever tried broccoli rabe? It’s new to me and took a little getting used to, but I have to say, I’ve become quite a fan. Contrary to what the name suggests, broccoli rabe (also called rapini) is not related to broccoli. It has some small, broccoli-like buds, but it’s actually more closely related to turnips. It is, naturally, very good for you as well.
Broccoli rabe is best cooked and even then, it is on the bitter side, but delightfully so. The flavor reminds me a bit of kale, and I know there are a lot of kale lovers out there, so I hope you guys will give broccoli rabe a shot. It plays nicely with flavors that also complement broccoli and kale, like garlic, lemon and red pepper flakes.
Since that’s the case, I thought there was a good chance that sautéed broccoli rabe would go well with savory peanut soba noodles (since they are also fantastic with broccoli), and I was right! Sautéed rabe is right at home with peanut sauce and soba noodles; it becomes almost noodle-like once cooked and twirls right around the fork with the pasta.
If you want to lighten up this dish or make it extra green, feel free to cook up even more broccoli rabe than specified below. For more broccoli rabe recipes (including another of mine for broccoli rabe and pesto flatbread), click here.
- 6 ounces soba noodles or whole grain spaghetti
- 1 pound broccoli rabe
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup reduced sodium tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for sprinkling
- Small handful chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 small lime wedge
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- Prepare the broccoli rabe by rinsing it well and patting it dry. Slice off the tough lower ends of the stems and discard. Slice off any remaining stems that are over ¼-inch in diameter and discard those as well, since they will be too fibrous even after cooking.
- Next, prepare the peanut sauce. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the ingredients until well blended. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli rabe and season with a dash of salt and a small pinch of red pepper flakes. Toss to combine and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the leaves have wilted and the stems are easily pierced by a fork, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Once the water is boiling, add the soba noodles and cook just until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain the noodles, then return them to the pot, add the broccoli rabe and toss with peanut sauce (you might not quite need all of it) until blended.
- Transfer to a serving bowl or individual bowls and top with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, a small squeeze of lime juice, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and red pepper flakes, if you’d like some extra heat.
Make it vegan: Use agave nectar instead of honey.
Make it gluten free: Use gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce and substitute firm gluten-free spaghetti (adjust cooking time accordingly) for the soba noodles.
Storage suggestions: This dish is best served fresh but will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three days.
Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Andy Boy and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!