24 May 2016

Who needs broccoli rabe when you have broccoli (and kale)?

Everyone's in love with broccolini/broccoli rabe, but it's expensive and, if you live in the sticks, it may not even be available in your local grocery store.  Now, I have a ton of kale in the garden, so perhaps I'm unaware of how difficult that is to find in a store, but I think this combination of kale and good old-fashioned broccoli comes pretty close to the fancy rabe stuff. (PS--An idiot family in Antarctica could grow kale in their yard, so you should try if you like it. It even overwinters in my Zone 4 Northern Colorado garden.) Fix it however you want; garlic, oyster sauce, and soy sauce would be pleasant too.  This is my pseudo-Italian version, great as a side or tasty just tossed with pasta.

Lemony Broccoli and Kale

Serves 6 as a side

2 teaspoons olive oil
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large bunch broccoli (about 3 cups chopped)
3 cups washed, chopped kale leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1 lemon, zest of ½ the lemon
1 tablespoon capers
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste

First things first: wash and chop ALL of that broccoli!  Don’t throw away the stem or leaves—they’re delicious!  They taste like broccoli!  Just slice the stem kind of thinly and then chop those rounds in half so they cook to crisp-tender perfection.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Now, turn up the heat to medium-high and add the kale in batches, stirring constantly until it begins to wilt and then adding more.  When everything is bright green and a little wilty, shove the kale around to the outer sides of the pan and throw the broccoli into the middle, making sure each piece gets some contact with the pan. Alternate between stirring and sitting so that you get some charred bits on the broccoli. (Optional, but nice.)

Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and capers.  Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any brown bits in the skillet, until garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot or at room temperature.