Friday, March 5, 2010

dear sweet lacinato rabe, where have you been my whole life?

When I made this dish two weeks ago I figured I wouldn't post it, because it's nothing very original, nor even anything you haven't seen before on this blog.

Then I spent the whole week thinking about the meal I'd had, and decided: who cares about groundbreaking, the entire world MUST be told about this!

So I made it again. Not without trepidation (I was afraid it wouldn't be as good as I remembered--you know, the same feeling that makes you hesitate to re-read your favorite novel or re-watch your favorite movie). But this stuff--this "lacinato rabe," which I'd bought on a whim at the farmers market two weeks ago--delivered.

Weird name, right? What is lacinato rabe? Well, it has stems and little flowers like broccoli rabe (or broccoli raab or rapini or whatever you want to call it)

And leaves like lacinato kale (or tuscan kale or dinosaur kale or, again, whatever you call it)

I found it at Nash's Organic Produce, which has a booth at the University District market on Saturdays, and Ballard on Sundays. Go forth, Seattleites, and enjoy!

In the past I've had bad luck with rapini--I'd cook it and cook it but the stems always seemed to stay stringy and inedible. This particular variety seems to have gloriously juicy, tender stems. But I think the secret to broccoli rabe in general is this: don't wait too long to harvest it, and don't wait too long to cook it.

What you do is this: blanch the lacinato rabe, then saute it with olive oil, garlic, and chile flakes. Dump the whole mess over garlic-rubbed toast and a couple of poached eggs (I know, I know--I never promised you originality) and grate a bunch of Parmesan cheese over the top. After dinner, think about how you could eat nothing else for the rest of your life.

The Dinner You'll Keep Thinking About

It can be tough to time everything just right with this recipe. To keep everything from happening all at once, you could blanch the greens and toast the bread a bit ahead of time.

1 bunch lacinato rabe (or other variety broccoli rabe/rapini)
olive oil
crushed red pepper
4 thick slices crusty bread
4 eggs
2 Tbsp white vinegar
Parmesan cheese

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Wash the greens. Peel about 4 good-sized cloves of garlic.

Fill a large skillet with water, and add 2 Tbsp white vinegar and some salt.  Crack each of the eggs into its own small bowl.

When the big pot of water boils, throw the greens in and blanch them for a couple minutes, until the leaves and stems are bright green. Drain.

Turn on the skillet to boil the water for the eggs. Toast the bread and rub it with one of the garlic cloves. When the greens are cool enough to handle, chop them roughly.

In another skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Press the remaining garlic cloves into the pan. Add some salt and crushed red pepper. Stir around for a minute or two. Throw in the blanched greens and saute for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, poach the eggs. To assemble the dish, put a couple pieces of toast on a plate, put a poached egg on top of each one, throw the sauteed greens on top, and grate some Parmesan cheese over the whole works.

Serves 2

1 comment:

Nic_G said...

Wow, this looks sooooo good! I found ou after doing a search for Broccoli rabe+eggs, trying to figure out tonight's supper. I can't believe nobody else has commented on it.