Guest Post: Broccoli Rabe With Plump Raisins & Pine Nuts

Cooking By Color – Green

Today’s guest post features a beautiful green vegetable that many people have not used before. Broccoli rabe often gets overlooked by it’s bigger, plumper broccoli counterpart, but this easy dish from Monica at La Vegetariana is something you will surely want to try!

Broccoli Rabe With Plump Raisins & Pine Nuts by Monica Sellecchia

There’s something about broccoli rabe that reminds me of my family. My mother would cook it many times at home for dinner, but it was the taste of the vegetable that took me awhile to get used to. My father would and still goes as far as growing it in our garden. He had and still has bundles and bundles of broccoli rabe that my mother would run out of ideas of how to cook it! But when she did, there was nothing like a beautiful bitter, salty, oily, crunchy piece of broccoli rabe. However, my father was really the one to introduce me to eating it. Being a daddy’s little girl got me to try everything my dad ate and more at the dinner table. He’d have me trying beets, broccoli rabe, wild mushrooms, Brussels sprouts and a whole ton more. I was the odd child that would eat just about every vegetable while my brother and sister would be forced to finish their spinach. If it wasn’t for him, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be the big vegetable eater I am today. Now that I’m older, I appreciate the bitterness of the tender, sometimes crunchy leaves and stems of the broccoli rabe plant.


Throughout the world, broccoli rabe goes by many different names including: rapini, broccoletti, raapi, grelos and more. As I traveled throughout Southern Italy, I ate at restaurants that would serve broccoli rabe as contorni or side dish. Usually it would be a simple sauté of broccoli rabe in extra virgin olive oil with garlic and sometimes even chili pepper or pork. However my recipe, Broccoli Rabe with Plump Raisins and Pine Nuts, is 100 percent vegan and health supportive bringing together many health supportive components to make a balanced dish.

I use the sweetness of the raisins to compliment the bitter greens and the bite of the pine nuts to bring out more texture. This dish is great to serve as a side. Broccoli rabe is high in vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium, calcium and iron. Pine nuts are filled with vitamins D, C, and A, as well as iron and heart-friendly monounsaturated fat. Raisins contain antioxidants and boron for bone health

Because I focus my time on creating Italian-inspired veg-friendly, as well as health-supportive dishes, this recipe surely fits the mold. I am happy to share it with The Blissful Chef and readers like you! Please check out my website: for more recipe ideas and insight into my life as the Italian vegetarian! Buon Appetito!

Broccoli Rabe With Plump Raisins & Pine Nuts

Serves 6-8

2 bunches of broccoli rabe, washed, tough stems removed

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/3 cup golden raisins or raisins, reconstituted

Sea salt/ pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt.

2. Cook broccoli rabe about 5 minute or until crisp tender.

3. Immediately transfer the rabe to a large bowl of ice water to shock.

4. Strain the broccoli rabe in a colander and set aside.

5. Pour boiling water over raisins and cover to reconstitute.

6. Heat a large deep skillet over medium.

7. Add pine nuts and sauté for several minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

8. Reduce heat to medium low. Add olive oil and garlic to pan and sauté until garlic has softened slightly.

9. Add the broccoli rabe and toss to coat. Add the raisins and sauté for approximately 4 minutes.

10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

11. Remove from heat and toss with pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Have you had broccoli rabe before? How do you like to serve it?

closeupCiao! My name is Monica and I am La Vegetariana. I am the Italian vegetarian who is journeying through life sharing my recipes, stories, reviews and more. I am a certified vegan chef, health consultant and journalist using the power of food to heal and the power of words to make life just a little more delicious and enjoyable. Italian food. Vegetarian living. Endless possibilities…that’s my motto. Follow my food-filled life and learn how to eat healthy, eat green, and eat Italian. Buon Appetito!

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