Rapini, also known as Broccoli Rabe, Broccoli Raab, Broccoletti, and spring Broccoli is not really related to Broccoli at all! Actually a turnip, the entire upper plant - stem, leaves and buds (which can resemble miniature broccoli) are all edible.
This "super vegetable" packs a powerful nutritional punch and is a good source of Pantothenic Acid, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, and Manganese. Rapini contains Lutein, an antioxidant that is thought to help prevent both cataracts and macular degeneration, two serious maladies that can affect the eyes as we age. Additional nutritional information can be found on these great sites: Health Benefits of Rapini Raw Rapini (Nutrition Data) and Cooked Rapini (Nutrition Data)
A favorite of Italian, Portuguese and Chinese cuisine, here are two sites with recipes and suggestions on how to serve Rapini:
Leslie Beck, RD and Judy Sobeloff's contribution
Want to save some money and the environment while improving your diet? Why don't you consider growing this vegetable? Rapini grows well in North America and can be planted in your Alliston, Beeton or Tottenham garden. The common thread I found researching how to grow Rapini was that it was important to harvest your crop before it flowers and seeds and that it can grow very fast in hot weather (it tends to become peppery and bitter if left to grow too long), making the later months of spring an ideal time to add this nutritional vegetable to your New Tecumseth garden. Here is a Canadian Gardening Site with good information if you are considering planting this crop.
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage