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.
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.
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.]