This week’s recipe was inspired by Botanical Interests Early Spring Green Fix Seed Collection. As a novice gardener and self-proclaimed foodie, I’m anxious for the first fresh vegetables of the season. This early Spring mix includes some of my favorites— broccoli raab (a.k.a. Rapini), young tender dwarf blue kale, fragrant parsley, sugar snap peas, and a lesser known salad green, called mache— just to name a few. I can think of no better way to kick off the first week of Spring than featuring a recipe that pays homage to the first delicious greens of a new growing season.
Broccoli raab (also spelled rabe) is a wonderful vegetable grown throughout the world. It is commonly used in Asian cuisines, and while its name might suggest it is related to broccoli, it isn’t. And just to confuse matters, its green buds actually look similar to broccoli. But really, who cares if it’s related to broccoli or not— all you need to know is that it’s delicious, and so very easy to grow, and cook. In bloom, this slightly bitter, nutty vegetable offers up quaint yellow flowers which are also edible.
In this recipe, sugar snap peas, the icon of Spring, dance magically with the pungent, bold broccoli rabe. Distinctly unique, yet complimentary, these two Spring greens make a wonderful pairing for an easy mid-week supper. And imagine, if you grow them yourself, how satisfying it will be to simply stroll out to your back yard and pick them just minutes before you prepare dinner.
Sautéed Broccoli Raab, Fresh Spring Peas and Parsley Oil
- 1 to 2 bunches broccoli raab
- 2 cups of fresh, sugar snap peas
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Parsley oil
- 1/2 cup (packed) coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice (optional)
- In a blender or small food processor, blend parsley with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Strain oil mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Use the back of a wooden spoon to squeeze out the oil from the parsley solids. Discard solids.
Sautéed Broccoli Raab and Peas
- Wash and trim the ends from broccoli raab. Cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces, using the entire plant, including the leaves, bud and flowers.
- Blanch broccoli raab in boiling salted water for 1 to 2 minutes. Broccoli raab stems should be bright green and crisp. (Avoid over cooking.)
- Remove broccoli raab from boiling water and drain well in a colander.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add broccoli raab to pre-heated sauté pan. (If there is moisture on the broccoli raab, be careful as your oil may spatter.)
- Add garlic and peas to sauté pan.
- Stir frequently and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Peas and broccoli raab should be crisp and tender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat, drizzle with fresh parsley oil ans serve warm.