The Biggest Mistake You're Making With Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe is like the cooler cousin of broccoli. Leafy green with a stronger flavor than its larger counterpart, it can be used in a variety of ways, from tossing it with pasta to sautéing it with sausage to using it as a pizza topping. Plus, it's good for you, Not only is broccoli rabe very low calorie, but it's also packed with fiber, iron, and vitamins A and C (it has 350 percent more vitamin A than blackberries, according to Eat This, Not That!).

But there's one common complaint about the delicate green veggie: Similar to other dark greens like kale or chard, people often accuse broccoli rabe of being too bitter. Fortunately, there's an easy way to make it taste better the next time you prepare it. All it involves is adding one extra step to the cooking process. Here's what to do to get rid of any lingering bitterness in your broccoli rabe.

You should always blanch broccoli rabe first

The easiest way to prevent your broccoli rabe from tasting bitter? Blanch it before you actually cook it. Blanching breaks down some of the enzymes that can give vegetables that bitter flavor and jumpstarts cooking it. To blanch your broccoli rabe, Epicurious says to put it in a pot of salted boiling water and leave it in the water until the stems are tender and the leaves are slightly wilted. The site says this usually takes about three to four minutes. At that point, remove the broccoli rabe from the pot so it doesn't over cook. 

Kitchn recommends blanching your broccoli rabe no matter how you plan to use it. However, it does suggest that if you're going to sauté your broccoli rabe, let it dry off on a paper towel for a few minutes before tossing in your pan. This will prevent it from getting too soggy as you cook it.