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Rapini

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
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?
post #2 of 25
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:
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'll have to try that with the 2nd half of my bunch. Thanks Kimmie!
post #4 of 25
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.
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post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
...I need to get better books! Thanks Mezz!
post #6 of 25
Forgive my ignorance but what are rapini? I've never heard of it.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #7 of 25
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.
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #8 of 25
Wasn't rapini the vegetable in Rapunzel that got that poor old couple in so much trouble?
post #9 of 25
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??
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
"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:
post #11 of 25
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.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
When is rapini done? I've read anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. What do you think?
post #13 of 25
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).
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
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.
post #15 of 25
Good point Anneke. You may be right on the money!

:p
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #16 of 25
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:
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #17 of 25
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.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
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)
post #19 of 25
Thanks Anneke it must be known under a different name in French. It doesn't seen to be in my Grimm Book.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #20 of 25
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
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Iza,
C'est bel et bien un conte de Grimm, intitulé "Raiponce" en français. Tu pourras accéder à l'histoire ici: Raiponce
post #22 of 25
Thaks for the explanation Nancy. Next time I'm at the bookstore I'll look Rapunzel up. Can't believe I've never heard of this fairy tale, I thought I've read them all. ;)
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #23 of 25
I'm glad to be part of your successful cooking...this is fun! LOL
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #24 of 25
Merci Anneke!


J'ai lu le conte et franchement j'aime mieux Peau d'âne. :)
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
Reply
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #25 of 25
How in the world did I miss this thread? Rapini is one of my favorite vegetables. And I love the bitterness (no blanching for me). Usually I trim the stalks, separate the leaves and the florets. I eat the florets just as Shroomgirl does hers. But the tough leaves I save for a soup the next day made with sweated onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, chicken stock, black-eyed peas and pasta. This I garnish with shavings of Parm or the dried rind of any stronger flavored cheese (emmenthaler is a fave). If I have any of that pasta dish left, I just dilute with chicken stock and the soup is practically made.

a more fancy way is to chop up the rapini, sautee as you do. Off heat, add grated asiago and some ricotta. Bind with a egg yolk. use as a ravioli filling with thicker wonton skin. Poach and serve with chicken consomme. Of course, any leftover sauteed rapini will work great here. The simply sauteed rapini is also great over polenta. This was my introduction to both rapini and polenta. It was love at first bite. And I can think of no better vegetable accompaniment to roasted chicken.

Oh, Anneke, by the way, use garlic oil for that garlic flavor with out the garlic showing up in the dish.

[ September 11, 2001: Message edited by: monpetitchoux ]
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