What Does Broccoli Rabe Taste Like? Does Broccoli Rabe Taste Good?

In many cultures, broccoli rabe is referred to as a “green”.

Eaten both in the wild and as a crop, this plant grows in the wild.

Long, thin, green leaves are adorned with small yellow flowers on the plant.

Broccoli rabe is also known as rapini and raab.

In this article, you will know the answer to the query “What Does Broccoli Rabe Taste Like?“.

When cooked with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes, broccoli rabe has a taste similar to spinach or mustard greens.

What is Broccoli Rabe?

In the Brassica family, broccoli rabe is also found among cabbage and broccoli.

Small white flowers grow on top of dark green leaves on this plant.

Rather than stopping production after one harvest (like most other members of the broccoli family), leaves may be harvested at any point during their growth cycle in order to encourage more new shoots to grow.

Also called rapini, Italian turnips, or broccoli rapini, they are root vegetables.

Broccoli rabe has a somewhat bitter taste, which is why it’s usually cooked with other ingredients that will temper this.

It can be found fresh in many grocery stores or substituted for kale in many recipes where you might use either one.

Italian chefs often serve it sauteed with pasta as well.

It is a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, so don’t let the slightly bitter taste discourage you.

For those who would like to cook their meals at home, it can also be found dried or frozen at some grocery stores.

Nutritional Benefits of Broccoli Rabe

The green leafy vegetable broccoli rabe, or rapini, sometimes is also referred to as rapini.

In addition to vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, calcium, and fiber, it is high in fiber.

The taste is similar to broccoli, but with more bitterness.

Among commonly eaten vegetables, broccoli rabe contains the highest concentration of sulforaphane.

A chemical called sulforaphane has anti-cancer properties.

A plant from the broccoli rabe family also has high levels of glucoraphanin, which undergoes conversion to sulforaphane after consumption.

They contain:

  • Antioxidants A & C – These vitamins are both important in protecting the cells from injury.
  • Calcium: An essential nutrient that helps maintain strong bones and teeth, regulates muscle function, blood clotting, and heart rhythm, and produces hormones.
  • You need potassium to maintain fluid balance in your body and to transmit nerve impulses. It is also necessary for balancing sodium levels in the body, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.
  • Iron – Iron contributes to the production of hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.
  • As a nutrient, fiber lowers cholesterol levels, regulates sugar metabolism, and reduces constipation or diarrhea by maintaining a balance of good bacteria in the digestive system. The feeling of being full with fewer calories can also help with weight loss.
  • Vitamin K – Vitamin K keeps the immune system healthy and helps with blood clotting.

Having broccoli rabe as a side dish can boost your nutrition intake.

What Does Broccoli Rabe Taste Like? Does Broccoli Rabe Taste Good?

Compared to broccoli and cabbage, broccoli rabe is similar to leafy green vegetables.

Small white flowers are blooming on top of the dark green leaves of the plant.

Brussel sprouts are slightly bitter when raw, but they turn milder when roasted.

Despite the slightly crunchy texture, this vegetable can also be prepared like other leafy greens and enjoyed as a salad.

A lot like raw spinach, broccoli rabe has a mild flavor, so it can be used in recipes with spinach (to make them tastier) as well as pine nuts (to add richness to the dish).

You can also eat broccoli rabe raw.

Vegetables become soft and delicate after they have been cooked.

If cooked for a short period in boiling water, it should not turn too chewy or mushy like spinach or kale.

The best way to bring out the flavor of the garlic is to sauté it with oil and garlic.

How to Cook Broccoli Rabe?

The best way to prepare broccoli rabe is to steam or boil it.

It is simple to prepare the leaves by boiling them for a few minutes, draining them, before serving them warm with another dish.

Broccoli rabe should be boiled in the following way:

  • Cover the vegetable with a lid and boil until tender in salted water after it has been washed and trimmed.
  • Prepare the pasta by draining it and adding salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

The following steps should be followed to steam broccoli rabe:

  • For an electric stove, place the metal plate that comes with the appliance in a steamer basket over boiling water. Place the washed, trimmed vegetables in the steamer basket over boiling water.
  • Keep the heat in by tightly covering the pot with a lid.
  • The leaves should be tender after about five minutes of steaming.

The following steps should be followed when roasting broccoli rabe:

  • Sauté garlic cloves finely with salt and pepper in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Cook briefly.
  • Add the broccoli rabe and stir on high heat for about one minute. Remove from heat.
  • You can drizzle some more olive oil and lemon juice on top if you’d like.

In addition to being eaten raw, broccoli rabe can be cooked like spinach or kale, as well as served in salads or sandwiches.

If it is to be served warm, it must be sautéed to release the flavor.

Cooking requires thoroughly washing the kale, trimming off any yellowing leaves, and removing the stems.

A vegetable should also be washed just before use to prevent dirt or sand from drying on the surface.

How to Choose Broccoli Rabe?

When purchasing broccoli rabe at a grocery store, make sure that it is fresh and bright in color.

There should be no yellowing or wilting of the leaves, and if the stalks appear soft with brown spots that could indicate decay and a strong smell, discard them.

You should also look for leaves that are dark green and flowers that are white.

Young broccoli rabe will have smaller flower clusters than older broccoli rabe.

You should smell the leafy greens strongly and taste them slightly peppery without being sour or spicy.

You should not buy food if the smell is off-putting because this indicates spoilage.

It should also feel firm to the touch, and not limp or soft, showing that it has likely been sitting out for a while before you purchase it.

You may ask a produce worker for help if you are unsure of the quality of broccoli rabe at your local grocery store.

How to Store Broccoli Rabe?

Ensure that the broccoli rabe is wrapped in a paper towel and placed inside a plastic bag.

The best way to keep it is in the refrigerator for three days.

If you don’t mind them withering a little more quickly over time, the leaves can also be stored outside the refrigerator.

Place broccoli rabe inside a paper bag and seal tightly before storing it outside of the refrigerator.

It can wilt too much if it is placed in an area without good air circulation for three days.

You should store it at a temperature below 45 degrees Fahrenheit so that it does not spoil fast if it becomes warm.

Broccoli rabe should not be washed before storage, as this will cause it to spoil quicker.


In conclusion, broccoli rabe makes an excellent vegetable for your kitchen.

You can eat it raw in salads, cook it as a side dish, or add it to other dishes for extra flavor.

When eating broccoli rabe, it’s important to cook it beforehand for best results.

Before cooking, it should be washed well and trimmed. Boiling water and steaming are two common cooking methods.

If you want to read more about cooking, read here: Cooking Tips and Tricks.

Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan is an accomplished culinary author with a passion for cooking and 6 years of experience. His creative ideas and valuable tips inspire readers to explore new flavors and take their culinary skills to the next level.

Rehmat Dietitian

Rehmat is a certified food dietitian having experience of 10 years in reviewing and practicing on foods different aspects.

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