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.
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.
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.
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.
Divide polenta among shallow serving bowls and top with rabe ragu and Parmesan, if using.
With citrus season upon us, what could be better than a classic fennel and orange salad? It’s light and refreshing, a perfect balance to heavier holiday meals, with a boost of vitamin C to boot. This version adds delicious crunchy cabbage and the bright juiciness of pomegranate. Perfect for sharing, this salad comes together quickly, and the flavour combination is sure to wow at any party you bring it to. Orange supreme To segment or “supreme” the orange, slice top and bottom off the orange so you have a flat surface to work with. With the flat edge on the cutting board, run your knife around the orange, removing skin in sections from top to bottom. Once all the skin is removed, hold the orange in your hand and carefully insert your knife along each section, cutting through to centre to remove each piece, avoiding the pithy sheath. When all the segments have been removed, squeeze what remains of the orange over bowl to extract all of the juice. If you’re not using segments immediately, keep them in the juice so they stay fresh and moist.
Rich, tasty crab, sweet apple, licorice-scented tarragon, and a touch of lemon make these stuffed endives a classy crowd pleaser. The filling is easily prepared in advance and can be chilled until ready to serve, but this dish also comes together quickly enough to be done right before stuffing into leaves. Keeping your boats upright If you want the endive boats to sit neatly on the dish or platter without tipping, you can make a small slice at the bottom of each leaf before filling to give it a flat surface to rest on. Just make sure not to penetrate too deeply into the wall of the leaf.
Many of us have discovered the magic of roasting Brussels sprouts to completely transform them, imparting rich, nutty flavour. Skewered on toothpicks, they’re perfect for a party appetizer. When drizzled with pomegranate molasses and paired with a smoky red pepper hummus dip assembled from cupboard ingredients, they’re next level—all while being an absolute cinch to put together. Prepping the sprouts If you’ve spent hours in the past peeling and trimming sprouts, you’ll love this simple tip to make things go faster. Simply trim the bottom end and then make a slice straight down the middle of each sprout. Any excess outer leaves will fall off, saving you the fiddly job of peeling them.
This hearty version of traditional sloppy joes has a tidy helping of sleep-aiding dietary fibre, thanks to its payload of smoky lentils. Swapping out the doughy bun for sweet bell pepper ups the nutritional ante and visual appeal. It’s also superb as leftovers. Smoke and fire Chipotle peppers are ripened red jalapeno chiles that have been smoked and dried. In stores, they’re typically sold in a rich, smoky flavoured adobo sauce. They add fiery, complex flavour to sauces used for pasta dishes, tacos, and any version of sloppy joes.