Broccoli rabe.  What  great vegetable.  Besides being good, it’s even good for you…  it’s a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.  I love it when something I like actually has some decent nutritional value.

Broccoli rabe (which is actually closer-related to a turnip than to broccoli) can be a bit bitter, so I played with it a bit.  The classic preparation is sauteed in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes.  I expounded a bit.

Broccoli Rabe

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Roughly cut a bunch of broccoli rabe and blanch in boiling water about 3 minutes.  Plunge into ice water to stop cooking and help retain color.  Drain well.

Heat olive oil in skillet.  Add walnuts and garlic.

Add broccoli rabe and then tomatoes.

Add red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste and heat through.

Remove from heat, stir in pecorino romano cheese and serve.

I made a ring of the cooked broccoli rabe on the plate and filled it with cheese ravioli.  I then topped the ravioli with the meat sauce Victor made the other day.  (Leftovers are our friend!)

More cheese on top, and dinner was served!

This was definitely one of those presentation is everything meals.  It was very basic and very simple, but the presentation really did bring it up a notch and make it special.

People really do eat with their eyes.

Restaurateurs know this well and have been overcharging people since the beginning of time by simply presenting their fare in an attractive manner.  It’s one of the first things I ever learned in this business nigh-on 50 years ago.

So think about it when you’re making dinner.  Use the “good” china and spend a tenth of a second longer putting the food on the table or onto the plates.

And then notice the reaction from your family.