This broccoli rabe recipe has been in my family for generations. It only has a few ingredients but it is packed with flavor. You may look at the recipe and think it has a lot of garlic but the flavor becomes mild after cooking low and slow with the broccoli rabe and olive oil for an hour. I love this tender rabe on its own but it also goes great in pasta dishes or as a breakfast sandwich with sausage and eggs. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week and reheat on low on the stovetop.
Your time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour
2 bunches broccoli rabe, thick ends trimmed
2 heads garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 cup sliced garlic)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Add the trimmed broccoli rabe to a large bowl and cover with cold water to clean . Drain and refill the bowl until the water is completely clean. Remove the rabe from the water and lightly shake it dry. It is ok that the rabe stays slightly wet as this excess water will help it steam and cook down in the pot.
Evenly coat the bottom of a 4-quart or larger Dutch oven with some of the olive oil. Add a layer of broccoli rabe, about one third of the rabe, and then top that with about a third of the garlic slices. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over top more olive oil and then repeat these layers until you have used all of the greens and sliced garlic. Depending on the size pot you are using, you may need to push down on the rabe to fit it but don't worry, it will cook down in the pot.
Cover the pot tightly with a lid and place over low heat. Cook the broccoli rabe for 1 hour, stirring the greens every 20 minutes or so, to ensure even cooking. The broccoli rabe is done when it has cooked down significantly, the rabe is completely tender and the garlic still holds its shape but if pressed breaks down quite easily. The rabe will be swimming in a garlic olive oil which is great for pastas or dipping bread into. My grandfather used to say, "you know you added enough olive oil when it drips down your elbow when you eat the broccoli rabe." : ) Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.