Friday, December 14, 2007

Fast Food Done Good: Garlicky Broccoli Rabe

It always strikes me as fishy when famous cooks claim they can whip up a ten-course, gourmet-caliber meal in 30 seconds or less. It seems to go against the whole idea that effort produces a proportional result. I’m all for convenience, especially on a weeknight, but yeah – I wonder if truly great dishes must have truly great amounts of time invested in them.

Then, days like Sunday happen and mess me up.

See, I was looking for a side dish to go with Cooking Light's Butternut Squash, Rosemary, and Garlic Lasagna. The lasagna had taken me approximately 4,000 years to make, and I wasn’t up for another mammoth exertion, so its accompaniment had to be easy and ready instantaneously. A quick search brought me to Cooking Light’s Garlicky Broccoli Rabe, which had six cheap ingredients and a 10-minute cooking time. Jumanji!

With the rabe sautéed and the lasagna sufficiently settled, The Boyfriend, me, and two large glasses of Sauvignon Blanc sat for a cozy pre-winter meal. The lasagna, though fairly tasty, disintegrated into noodles and cream almost instantaneously. It was more like thick pasta with white sauce and a few chunks of butternut squash. (The leftovers weren’t great, either. There's still half left five days later.)

The rabe, though? THAT was a keeper. With a touch of heat, just the right amount of bitterness, and all that garlicky scrumptiousness, it was quickly nominated for regular rotation.

So, what do I take away from this experience?

1) I’m wrong a lot.
2) Nope, that’s it.

Cooking Light was (as always) gracious enough to provide calories and fat, so only the price is calculated below.

Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
3 servings – ½ cup each
Adapted from Cooking Light.

1 pound broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1) Fill a medium bowl with cold water and a couple of ice cubes. Set aside.

2) In a medium saucepan, bring a few cups of water to a boil. Add broccoli rabe and boil about 6 minutes, until it's crisp, but tender. Drain and quickly add broccoli rabe to ice bath. Drain again and chop into bite-sized pieces.

3) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds to 1 minute), stirring frequently. Add broccoli rabe, salt, and peppers and warm through, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
67 calories, 2.3 g fat, $0.38

1 pounds broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed: $0.99
1/2 tablespoon olive oil: $0.04
1 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced: $0.05
1/4 teaspoon salt: $0.01
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper: $0.02
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper: $0.02
TOTAL: $1.13

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Tanya said...

That's how I prepare pretty much all green vegetables. Sometimes topped with parm and a little butter when I'm feeling decadent. Frequently over whole-grain pasta as a whole meal. I'm just that lazy-- but noone has ever complained.

wealthy_1 said...

The broccoli rabe is my kind of recipe: fast, easy, and only 6 ingredients!

I'm going to have to try it.

Rob in Madrid said...

HAVE opps caps locks on! have to say never heard of broccoli rabe before but will give it a try

Anonymous said...

I want to try this, but am having trouble finding broccoli rabe in my stores. I will keep looking.