Friday, March 19, 2010

Another Kind of Broccoli

There's a gentler, milder, but no less nutritious broccoli in town. If you are not fond of florets, broccoli rabe is the perfect green alternative to traditional cruciferous broccoli. A staple in the Italian kitchen, broccoli rabe is the perfect  counterpoint to starchy, sweet, and spicy foods like pasta and garlic, and it makes as much of an impact on your health as it does on your palate.

The big thing with broccoli rabe is its cancer-preventing potential. Like all members of the cabbage family, it's a rich source of glucosinolates, which your body converts to cancer-fighting sulforophanes and indoles. Studies show that these compounds are particularly effective against stomach, lung, and colon cancers, and promising research hints at protective effects against breast and prostate cancers as well. The deep green color also indicates a healthy dose of B vitamins, Vitamin C, iron, and calcium.

To buy and prepare broccoli rabe, they're best during colder months, especially during Fall. Smaller-leaved plants are younger and therefore milder and more tender than larger-leaved varieties. They are excellent steamed, blanched, and sauteed in garlic with a bit of soy sauce.

1 comment:

  1. I love broccoli raab - my favorite way is sauteed in a good amount of EVOO with plenty of garlic and chili flakes.