I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Monday, March 22, 2010

You say Rabe, I say Rapini.

We went a little Greek last night.  Some parts of the meal were more successful than others.  The menu was grilled salmon with fresh oregano and lemon, topped with a cucumber, red onion, tomato salsa, and Broccoli Rabe and Orzo Salad.

The salmon left a lot to be desired.  It was an impulse buy, and I should have taken the impulse to another store and gotten a nicer piece.  It was fine, really, but I love salmon so much that I hate to eat a mediocre piece, you know?  The salsa on top was just to try to tie it in to my salad ingredients and use up the stump of English cucumber and six cherry tomatoes we had laying around.

I've never had broccoli rabe.  It is, apparently, not a popular ingredient in my suburb, as I found it in ONE of the four grocery stores I've tried in the past few weeks.  (Yay, Byerly's!)  It is also called broccoli rapini, if you're looking for it.  And it's totally worth looking for.  I made extra orzo, as I knew I was going to have to fish some out without greens in it for my kids, and the picture above shows that even my portion is a little heavy on the pasta. Not that I minded.

The flavor of this green is really great.  It's broccoli-y and green leaf-y, and blanching it in the water with the pasta really takes the bitterness out of it.  I'd go easier on the feta next time, as every once in a while I got a big chunk and it overwhelmed the dish, and I'll also make sure to take out all the big stalky stems.  The leaves are especially wonderful.  Chop them up and put them all in.  This is a great way to get all those fabulous dark green leafy vitamins.  It will definitely hit our table again.  I may even add more garlic and omit the cheese next time, giving me more leeway with my protein. I really felt they had to tie in, so I used the feta as my inspiration for the Greekness of the salmon, and I think this can be a more versatile side dish.

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