Rapini was one of my absolute favorite vegetables growing up. My mom always made a little extra, and set is aside before dinner, so we could have rapini and provolone scrambled eggs the next morning. Rapini can be bitter, so mom would tame the bitterness, by par-boiling in salted water, until just tender to help to pull some of it out.
These are a simple and satisfying appetizer; Kalamata olives would also be a delicious topper to go along with the rapini.
Rapini and Ricotta BruschettaAdapted from Williams-Sonoma, Cooking from the Farmers’ Market Makes 12 I had leftover rapini, so it may be possible to get more than 12, or you can save it for another use (like scrambled eggs!). 1 1/2 lb rapini/broccoli rabe 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling 3 garlic cloves, chopped 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes salt and pepper, to taste 12 baguette slices, each 1/2 inch thick 1/2 cup ricotta cheese 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
Cut the broccoli rabe stems into 1/4-inch pieces and coarsely chop the leafy greens. Rinse and drain.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add as much broccoli rabe as will fit into the pan. Increase heat to high and add the remaining broccoli rabe once the first batch wilts. Season with salt and cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes. If the pan seems too dry, add a splash of water. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush the slices with olive oil. Broil until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Rub top of bread with remaining clove of garlic. Spread ricotta on the baguette slices and top with the broccoli rabe. Serve immediately.