I first tried grilling broccoli rabe after reading in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook how chef Judy Rodgers does it; she tosses the rabe in both water and oil before grilling. This is ingenious, because the water helps the tough rabe stems steam while the leaves and florets caramelize. My method varies a bit from hers in that I've found that using a grill basket helps to cook the rabe a little more thoroughly than spreading it out on the grate. The leaves don't get quite as crisp, but the stems cook more evenly. I also like to cut the thickest stems in half lengthwise first. I think a simple finish of a little lemon and Parmigiano is all this quick and easy vegetable dish needs. If you're a rabe fan, you've got to try grilling it?you'll love it. If you haven't tried rabe or are serving it to friends, I recommend trying it boiled first, as boiling makes the raab milder when grilled. Be generous with the Parmigiano and serve the rabe with a simple flatbread or grilled pizza.
- 8 oz. broccoli rabe, bottom 2 in of stems trimmed, all stems but the very thinnest cut in half lengthwise
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive-oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 Lemon
- Small wedge of parmigiano-reggiano
Put a vegetable grilling basket directly on the grate of a gas grill and preheat it to medium. When the grill and the basket are hot, toss the broccoli rabe in a mixing bowl with the olive oil, 3 Tbsp water, and y/i tsp salt, and transfer it to the grill basket. Toss well, close the lid, and cook, tossing frequently with tongs (and reclosing the lid each time), until the rabe is wilted and all of the pieces have some browning on them, 7 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the rabe to a serving platter. Taste and add a little salt if necessary. Season with a light squeeze of the lemon, and, using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, shave as many Parmigiano shavings as you like (8 to 10 would be good) over the rabe. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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