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The Marriage of Broccoli Rabe and Beans

August 16, 2012 by Joan Nova in Beans/Legumes, Finishing Touches, Italian, Recipe Development, Side Dishes, Vegetables | 8 Comments

You know you’re Italian if you grew up eating broccoli rabe and beans. We ate it as a soupy dish and dunked bread in the bowl. Any liquid that was left, we slurped. Oh, yes we did. We also ate it as a side dish (usually with sausage) and, of course, we ate it with pasta!

Broccoli rabe and beans (cannellini or garbanzo a/k/a chick peas, ceci beans) are a perfect marriage. But, like any wedding party, they need some loving attendants to walk them up the aisle: garlic, chicken broth, olive oil, onion or leeks, carrot, tomato.

Meal #1

I cooked the beans by the 2-minute boil followed by a 1-hour wait method before braising them in a mix of 3/4 chicken broth and 1/4 olive oil with sauteed (and minced) garlic, carrots, leek, and tomatoes.

After they had cooked for about 30-40 minutes, I added a head of chopped broccoli rabe and let them cook together for approximately another half hour.

Finishing Touch: Drizzle of olive oil that had been seasoned with minced garlic, salt, red chili flakes and a little lemon zest.

Leftover Meal

Normally, I would happily eat the leftovers the same way or tossed with pasta. But this time, I did something different.

I got the idea to concentrate the flavor by pureeing them and was planning to serve it as a base for a piece of salmon.

But, then I got the idea to make these little cakes.

After the patties were molded, I placed them on a mix of garbanzo flour (because I had it) with a little corn meal to coat the bottom and lightly sprinkled the top. I put the cakes in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then fried them in canola oil.

[About 2 cups of pureed broccoli rabe and beans yielded 4 nicely-sized patties.]

 


Finishing Touch: A sprinkle of Hawaiian sea salt, fresh ground pepper and minced rosemary.

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!

8 Comments

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  1. Lori Lynn says:

    Those cakes look fabulous.

    The only beans we ate growing up were lima, in chicken soup. And I never heard of broccoli rabe until well into adulthood. So I guess you can tell we’re not Italian, but we sure eat a lot of these ingredients now.

    Loving attendants! Cute!
    And your pic of broccoli rabe is so neat, it glows!!
    LL
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Loup de Mer à la Provençale #CookForJuliaMy Profile

  2. What a lovely metamorphosis of lovely comfort food. I, too, grew up slurping all kinds of beans and what we called “pot liquor” or really, “pot likker.” My mother’s Southern side trumped my Dad’s Italian here. I make lots of patties out various foods, but probably never have come up with this combination. Looks wonderful.
    Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Mmmmm…SamosasMy Profile

    • Joan says:

      I love the expression ‘pot liquor’. It’s new to me but so aptly describes it. You can get a ‘high’ of sorts from the delicious juice.

  3. Trix says:

    Little savory cakes always win my heart. I love your idea!!
    Trix recently posted..Potent Pairings: Seared Duck Breast and Blueberry Sage Sauce with Mezcal AnejoMy Profile

  4. Oh yum! broccoli rabe is new to me. I don’t think I’ve seen it here in Prague though. I love all of the different recipes, thanks for sharing Joan:)
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie recently posted..Mini Pork, Grilled Onions & Blue Cheese Sandwiches, Plus A Taste From The PastMy Profile

  5. Marie says:

    That mind of yours is always
    pushing the bar! I love your creativeness!
    Marie recently posted..Has It really been five years?My Profile

  6. bellini says:

    Not growing up Italian broccoli rabe has been absent from my life too long. I do see it this time of year at our Italian grocers.

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