When I lived in CT, I ate broccoli rabe all the time. I took for granted that it was available year-round, in pretty much any grocery store I went to. So when I moved to rural South Carolina and there was no broccoli rabe to be found, I was pretty sad about it. In fact every time I asked for it in the local grocery stores, I would get the “you”re not that bright are you” look, and then they’d take me over to the regular broccoli and point to it. I gave up trying to explain that broccoli rabe (or rapini) isn’t actually broccoli, but a bitter green in the mustard family, with slender broccoli-like stalks and florets.
This year, out of desperation, I decided to try growing my own broccoli rabe for the first time. It was super easy, and grew fast, so it didn’t take long at all to get to harvest! I will definitely be making it a regular part of my garden rotation! I wasn’t the only one who was excited when our first crop came in this week.
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The bitter flavor is what I love about broccoli rabe (think arugula), though it can be a turn off to some people. It’s worth learning to love it though, because as a low carb vegetable, it’s a real winner at only .6g net carbs in FOUR cups of raw, chopped broccoli rabe. For only 9 calories, a single cup of raw broccoli rabe also delivers over 100% of your daily Vitamin K requirement, and a hefty amount of Vitamin A, and manganese, among other things.
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In order to tame the bitterness, you need to blanch it for a minute or two first, and then add some fat to it when cooking it the rest of the way. In this dish, the fat comes in the delicious form of olive oil, sausage, and parmesan cheese. Add some sauteed garlic to the mix, and if you aren’t sold yet, then I give up! It may sound like a lot of steps with the pre-blanching, but it is actually a very simple recipe – and it’s packed with flavor.
[pinterest text=”Broccoli Rabe and Italian Sausage (low carb and gluten free) – ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/broccorabe2small-648×950.jpg”]
This is one of my absolute favorite ways to prepare broccoli rabe – I hope you guys will like it too!Print
Get out of your vegetable rut with this delicious, and healthy low carb recipe!
- 8 oz italian sausage
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- 4 cups raw broccoli rabe, chopped
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a medium pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for about 2 minutes or until bright green. Drain. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, saute the sausage until cooked through. Add the olive oil and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the blanched broccoli rabe and cook for about 2 more minutes, or until the stalk pieces are just tender. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Top with the grated parmesan cheese and serve.
Approximate nutrition info per serving: 361 calories, 29g fat, 3g net carbs, 20g protein
- Serving Size: 2 cups
For more creative low carb vegetable recipes, download The Gluten Free Low Carber today!33