Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini or broccolini, is more pungent and bitter than regular broccoli. Broccoli rabe is part of the cruciferous family which is widely believed to have cancer fighting properties. Blanching... the florets and leaves before sautéing tones down the natural bitterness in this Sautéed Broccoli Rabe, and makes for a quick nutritious side dish.
Bring water to a boil and blanch the broccoli rabe for 2-3 minutes, until the stems are al dente. Drain well.
In a wide skillet heat olive oil and red pepper flakes, if using, over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook just until the garlic begins to turn golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the drained broccoli rabe and salt, toss to coat and sauté for 2 minutes. Serve.
If you cannot find broccoli rabe, regular brocooli will work fine. The florets will only need to be blanched for 1-2 minutes, and the stems should be peeled, cut into strips and cooked with the garlic in step 2, until they begin to brown.