Broccoli rabe (also known as rapini) is a deliciously bitter green closely related to turnips. To ensure tenderness, the stalks are blanched, then grilled. You’ll find the Salsa Rossa pairs well with many green vegetables—green beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc.
For the Salsa Rossa
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed) Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
- 1 roasted and peeled red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pickled hot peppers, plus 1/4 cup brine from the jar
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
For the broccoli rabe
- 1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- Shaved Pecorino Romano, for serving
Make the Salsa Rossa: In a saucepan, boil 1 cup of water. Remove from the heat. Add the tomatoes and hot red pepper flakes. Let stand until the tomatoes are softened, 15 minutes.
Transfer the tomatoes and their liquid to a blender. Add the roasted pepper, pickled peppers, brine, and vinegar and puree until very smooth. With the machine on, gradually add the olive oil until incorporated. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the oregano and sugar. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Make the broccoli rabe: Set up an ice bath (a large bowl of water and ice). In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the broccoli rabe for 2 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath. Drain and pat dry.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a bowl, toss the broccoli rabe with the oil, then season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes. Serve with the Salsa Rossa and Pecorino.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, September 2016