Bitter Reprisal

Tame a favorite fall vegetable

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After opening a succession of Seattle restaurants–including the new Staple & Fancy Mercantile–chef Ethan Stowell has turned his attention to home cooking. In his just-released cookbook, Ethan Stowell's New Italian Kitchen, the chef provides a roadmap for domesticating his best restaurant dishes. His straightforward recipes invite cooks to piece together a feast of shareable dishes like this bold rapini (aka broccoli rabe) salad. Stowell's preparation tames the vegetable's bitter bite without curbing its flavor. Serve it as a starter or side dish or–as in our favorite version–with a fried egg on top.

Recipe adapted from Ethan Stowell's New Italian Kitchen (Ten Speed Press)

Rapini With Garlic, Chile And Lemon
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Chef Ethan Stowell's recipe for rapini with garlic, chile and lemon from his new cookbook, New Italian Kitchen
Servings
4
appetizer servings
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches (about 2 pounds) rapini (broccoli rabe), thick stems trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ⅛ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Remove the leaves from the rapini stems. Reserve the leaves for another use.
  2. Prepare an ice bath. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, blanch the rapini just long enough to set the color and tame the bitterness, about 1 minute, then transfer to the ice bath to cool. Repeat with the remaining rapini, then drain and squeeze the rapini dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  3. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rapini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rapini is warmed through but still slightly crunchy, about 4 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat. Squeeze the lemon over the rapini and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
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