I like to present rapini (another name for broccoli rabe) as a really straightforward dish. Blanch rapini or broccoli, or any green in the broccoli family, in salted boiling water for less than a minute depending on thickness. Toss in olive oil, a little Fresno chili or red pepper flakes, and the grated zest and juice of a lemon or Meyer lemon if you can get it. Add garlic or anchovy for a little more action. Or add toasted pine nuts and currants for more textural contrast.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- finely grated zest of 1/2 Meyer or regular lemon
- juice of one Meyer or regular lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 Fresno chile, stemmed and sliced
- 1 bunch rapini or broccoli rabe, stem ends chopped off and the rest chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon Maldon or kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt so that it tastes like the saltwater of the sea.
- In a bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and red pepper flakes or Fresno chile together until combined.
- Drop the rapini into the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain, shaking the colander forcefully to remove as much water as possible, and transfer to the bowl with the dressing.
- Toss well, transfer to a serving dish, and sprinkle with the Maldon salt and a few cranks of black pepper.