|rapini with garlic & olives|
My body just CRAVES this vegetable, and when it's in season it is at it's very best. Slightly smoky and just a little bitter, it is an excellent food for the digestive system. My body pulses with happiness when I eat it.
I learned how to prepare this Italian staple Roman-style. Excellent as a dish on its own, or mixed with gluten-free rotini shaped pasta & sprinkled with fresh grated parmigiano.
It also makes an excellent accompaniment to sausages, fish or chicken. When served as a side, I'll skip the cheese and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice instead.
The method below is called "ripassata in padella" (loosely translates to passed from the pot into the pan) - and can be used to prepare any number of greens like chard, kale, spinach etc. Typically with leafy greens I skip the steaming part and go straight to the pan.
This is super easy.
Wash one bunch of rapini, remove tough ends & chop into 2" pieces. Toss into pot with water and steam.
Peel and split one clove of garlic in two. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a non-stick frying pan and put garlic open side down with a sprinkle of chili flakes.
When rapini is limp remove from water and toss into pan. Add
6-8 salt cured black olives. Stir to coat with oil and cook until any water evaporates.
I use the water that I steamed the rapini in to cook the pasta (great flavour and use of lost nutrients!). Also saves time and energy washing up :)
In winter when rapini goes on sale I will steam a number of bunches at once and freeze it. I store it in baggies and then thaw and finish it off in the pan when I want it (thanks for teaching me this trick Rosa!).
I seriously never tire of this dish - but would be thrilled to learn of new ways to prepare rapini and other seasonal winter greens.