Garden Fresh Vegetables
I love fresh broccoli raab!

Broccoli - Fresh from the Garden

Broccoli and Broccoli Raab

Roberta Broccoli Raab
 

Leaf Pile
Some of these leaves would make great compost
for my new broccoli raab starts.

Serving Fresh Broccoli Raab

Broccoli history & personality

Oh, I'm feeling so energetic today. I think I'll swim a few laps before breakfast!

Broccoli and its close relative broccoli raab (also known as broccoli rabe and rapini) are members of the cabbage family. While information on "regular" broccoli is more readily available, from a gardeners' perspective, there are some advantages to broccoli raab. Both are highly nutritions. However the entire raab plant is edible, making it a more efficient crop. Plus it's a little out of the ordinary, which is kind of fun.

Broccoli Raab is a slightly bitter, ultra-efficient, less-well-known cousin. Cool though.

Broccoli lore
Broccoli, age 2000 give or take a few years, was cultivated from the wild cabbage. It came into popularity in the US after being planted in California, then shipped by rail ... on ice ... to the east coast. It found favor with some happy and cooperative Italian immigrants, and the rest is history!
Broccoli is healthy!

Broccoli is high in nutrients and low in calories. A great combination! Well-grown broccoli is very high in Vitamin C, and also contains Vitamins K and A, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.

There are several different cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli, and these are especially concentrated in broccoli sprouts. Broccoli also contains compounds that detoxify the liver, reduce growth of HPV and prevent macular degeneration. Wow. It's a real powerhouse!

Broccoli is generally regarded as having neutral energy.

Please see your health provider for guidance on your own health program.

Fresh Broccoli Raab as food

Broccoli Raab is somewhat bitter. When you prepare it, think of it as you would a leafy green. You can eat just about the whole plant.

Rinse well. If you're using garden-fresh broccoli raab, make it salt water. Unless your grower has sprayed poisonous chemicals all over it, there's a reasonable chance you might find a well-disguised critter hiding in the brush. No matter. Just wash well & they'll float out.

Trim off the very bottom and chop the rest up. To reduce bitterness, boil a small amount of water in a saucepan and toss in the raab for 2 or 3 minutes to blanch, then drain in a colander. From there, you may wish to stir-fry your raab in some olive oil and garlic.

Using fresh broccoli raab

Broccoli Raab — Try this: If you're trying broccoli raab for the first time, take my advice and put it in something, rather than serving it up straight. For example, you might want to toss the blanched and stir-fried raab we just mentioned with some cooked pasta and a little grated cheese.

Try this: Saute blanched broccoli raab with sliced sweet Italian sausage and some minced garlic. Serve over buttered noodles & top with shredded parmesan cheese.

Try this: Add some chopped, blanced broccoli raab to potato or vegetable soup, or to your favorite casserole or stew. The first time I tried cooking broccoli, I mixed it into a chicken / noodle / cream sauce casserole. Oh yum! The flavors played off one another beautifully!

Editor's Pick for Broccoli Raab
 

References:
http://www.nutritiondata.com/
Albi, J and Walthers, C ( 1996). Greens Glorious Greens: More than 140 Ways to Prepare All Those Great-Tasting, Super-Healthy, Beautiful Leafy Greens
Murray, M, Pizzorno J and Pizzorno, L (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.
National Geographic Society (2008). Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World's Food Plants.

 
Green Folk Say

Roberta Raab

Some people say I'm bitter. But I prefer to think it's a matter of focus. I'm very focused on healthy living.
Try me! But do like I do and take a dunk in the water first. They say I'm sweeter after a swim.
Next: meet Clarice Cabbage, my ethnobotanist friend.
Or go back to Veggie Personalities.
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