My recipe this week, is called “Nanni’s Broccoli Rabe,” which she taught Vincent how to cook. Broccoli Rabe is a common vegetable in the cuisine of Southern Italy, especially in Sicily. This vegetable is described as having a nutty, bitter, and pungent flavor. Broccoli Rabe is also a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.
|Ellen, Vincent, & Nanni|
“The apartment was really from a different world. The baby Jesus sat in a glass shrine in the bedroom. The ceilings were high, there were antique molding on the walls and the rooms were filled with dark old world furniture. I was visiting my girlfriend’s 82 year old Sicilian grandmother at her apartment in Queens, NY. The midday light struggled to filter into the rooms past the heavy ornate draperies. Nanni was not like any 82 year old woman I had ever met. She had manic energy, flitting about her apartment showing us memorabilia and photos from her younger life, talking non stop, simultaneously sizing me up and whispering her assessments to Ellen. She was wearing a blue patterned housecoat, but she wore it like it was a dress from a fine store, and carried herself upright and proud. At some point we all became hungry and she mentioned she had some Broccoli Rabe, which she offered to cook. I think she knew, that her energy and youthfulness at her advanced age was amazing, so every once in a while she would throw in some detail of her regimen as if she was trying to offer advice about how to live as long and as well as she had. The Broccoli Rabe was spoken of not only as a delicious dish but also as a life prolonging medicine.
|My Grandmother "Nanni"|
2 bunches Broccoli Rabe (about 2 pounds)
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup of chicken stock
A pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced garlic to heated oil, cook until just beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add Broccoli Rabe, toss to combine and sauté. Now add chicken stock carefully and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook, till boiled on high heat. Then lower heat to simmer, cover pan, cook for about 10-15 minutes. Season to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves: About 8 people.
Till Next Time……………
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