alive logo
foodfamilylifestylebeautysustainabilityhealthimmunity

Broccoli Rabe Lentil Ragu over Polenta

    Share

    Broccoli Rabe Lentil Ragu over Polenta

    Broccoli rabe, also called rapini or Chinese broccoli in Asian markets, hits peak season in early spring. Its pronounced bitter taste is tamed somewhat with cooking. This elegant plant-based recipe proves that overcooked vegetables are sometimes a good thing.

    Advertisement

    Name game

    Despite the name, leafy broccoli rabe tastes nothing like broccoli. Its uses and flavours are closer to turnip and mustard greens. All parts of broccoli rabe—stems, florets, and leaves—are edible. Just like broccoli rabe, broccolini is also a cruciferous vegetable but is a hybrid cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli (also called gai lan or Chinese kale). It has long stalks with small broccoli-like florets and less of a bitter edge than rabe.

    Advertisement

    Broccoli Rabe Lentil Ragu over Polenta

    Ingredients

    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 shallots, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried red pepper flakes
    • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt, divided
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
    • 1 lb (450 g) broccoli rabe, tough thick ends trimmed
    • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) canned no salt-added crushed tomatoes
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
    • 2 cups (500 mL) cooked black (beluga) lentils or French green lentils
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
    • 1 cup (250 mL) medium-grain cornmeal
    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

    Nutrition

    Per serving:

    • calories305
    • protein15g
    • fat5g
      • saturated fat1g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates53g
      • sugars5g
      • fibre13g
    • sodium488mg

    Directions

    01

    In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, and heat until garlic turns golden and shallots soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and pepper; heat for 30 seconds. Place broccoli rabe in pan and sauteu0301 for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in 3/4 cup (180 mL) water and bring to a simmer; heat over medium until rabe turns vibrant green and stems begin to soften, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes to pan, bring to a simmer, and heat for 10 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and lentils and heat through. Cover pan to keep warm while you prepare polenta.

    02

    In medium-sized saucepan, bring 4 cups (1 L) water to a boil. Add remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and thyme to water and then slowly pour in cornmeal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently with wooden spoon to break up any clumps and to make sure cornmeal is not sticking to bottom of pan, until polenta is tender and creamy, about 15 minutes. If polenta becomes too thick too soon, loosen mixture by adding more water and continue cooking.

    03

    Divide polenta among shallow serving bowls and top with rabe ragu and Parmesan, if using.

    Advertisement
    Ad
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    READ THIS NEXT

    SEE MORE »
    Fruity Tofu with Sweet Potato Wedges
    Beet Falafel Burgers with Dilly Tahini Sauce

    Beet Falafel Burgers with Dilly Tahini Sauce

    If a falafel and burger had a love child, this would be it. The result of this hybrid is a vibrantly coloured, complex-flavoured veggie burger you’ll flip over. You can also serve them between toasted hamburger buns with toppings such as sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, and arugula.  Holding it together Many plant-based burgers are crumbly and weak, risking a patty that ends up between the grill grates instead of intact on your plate. Keep your burgers together by forming patties no larger than 1 in (2.5 cm) thick, which ensures a nice, even crust on the outside and a thoroughly warmed-through centre, then chilling the patties before grilling. You can also consider using a burger mould, which gives you denser, equally sized patties that cook evenly. Be sure your grill grates are well greased.  Deep freeze You can freeze uncooked falafel burgers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or plate and then transfer frozen patties to an airtight container. When ready, just thaw and cook as instructed. Falafel cooking options To bake: Arrange falafel on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with oil; bake at 375 F (190 C) for 25 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and heated through. To pan fry: Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (15 mL) for each 2 burgers in the pan, swirl to coat pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until underside is browned. Then flip carefully and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.