Balsamic Roasted Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe is having a moment in the Dawson household right now.  Every time I go to the grocery store I just can’t pass up those bright green bunches.  I like the bitterness of the leaves and the slightly sweet broccoli, kind of like if kale and broccoli had a baby.Balsamic Roasted Broccoli Rabe | Life Healthfully Lived

That’s weird to imagine, so let’s move on.  I usually just blanch and saute broccoli rabe because I don’t mind the bitter but some people are turned off by that taste.  More rabe for me!  But in an effort to be a little less selfish with my food (a very tough feat, just ask my husband) I decided to try preparing it a little different.

Roasted.Balsamic Roasted Broccoli Rabe | Life Healthfully Lived

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that #roastallthethings is pretty much my favorite hashtag because I really do roast all the things.  Roasting brings out the natural sugars in food and in turn makes things like broccoli rabe more palatable for everyone.  The balsamic vinegar just ups the ante even more and adds a nice tang.

This is a simple side dish and after blanching it doesn’t take that much time.  In fact, you could blanch the broccoli rabe a few days in advance so all you have to do is throw the rabe into the oven when you’re ready to eat.  Easy peasy!

Balsamic Roasted Broccoli RabeBalsamic Roasted Broccoli Rabe | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. The first thing you need to do is blanch and shock the broccoli rabe.  This helps it keep it’s color and tames a little bit of the bitterness.  Separate the leaves from the broccoli stems, but don’t throw them away, and chop the broccoli part into bite size pieces.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Fill a large bowl with cold water and add a few ice cubes.  Have a colander ready.
  3. Once the water is boiling, dump the chopped broccoli pieces and stir around.  Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until the water starts to come to a boil again.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the cold water bath and then drain in the strainer.  Repeat this process with the leaves.
  4. Once the broccoli rabe is blanched and shocked you can roast it right away or store it in the fridge for about 2 days before you’re ready to cook it.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a large tray with a Silpat or parchment paper.  Toss the broccoli and leaves in the coconut oil and then lay them out in an even layer on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle the shallots and garlic slices over them and then drizzle everything with the balsamic vinegar.  You can add a pinch of salt as well at this point.
  6. Roast for about 10 to 15 minutes, keeping a close eye so the broccoli rabe doesn’t burn.  Remove from the oven let cool slightly before serving.Balsamic Roasted Broccoli Rabe | Life Healthfully Lived


Broccoli Rabe Pesto

I have another recipe for you today that uses up leftover vegetables and still tastes delicious.  Broccoli rabe has been one of my favorite things lately.  It’s a little bitter and earthy, but if you prepare it right and use all the garlic it turns into this amazing dish that I have been putting in my veggie noodle bowls every weekend.

It’s a vegetable-palooza up in here.

Well, last week I was not digging the greens and ended up with a pile of cooked broccoli that was just about to go bad.  I was so tempted to throw it away because what can you do with almost mushy vegetable? Broccoli Rabe Pesto | Life Healthfully Lived

Turn it into pesto!  Yes, you can use anything to make pesto and I will use any excuse in the book to make and use pesto because as Phoebe would say, pesto is the besto.

I kind of threw stuff together and hoped that everything would turn out and I got pretty lucky.  I thought I was so revolutionary but then a quick internet search proved me wrong BUT my version is dairy-free so I think that counts for something.  You can also make this pesto with regular broccoli if you haven’t jumped on the broccoli rabe bandwagon or can’t find it.  Just make sure whatever you use is already cooked because raw broccoli rabe pesto would definitely not be the besto.

Broccoli Rabe PestoBroccoli Rabe Pesto | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked broccoli rabe or plain broccoli
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds (you could use slices too)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (if you do dairy you could use parmesan)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 325 and spread the almonds onto a baking sheet and toast for about 5 minutes.  Check often to make sure you don’t end up with burnt almonds.  Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. While the almonds are toasting, check your broccoli rabe and remove any pieces that are too brown or mushy (a little mushy is ok as everything will be blended up)
  3. Put the garlic cloves into a blender or food processor and pulse a few times until it’s fairly minced.  Add the almonds and nutritional yeast or cheese and pulse until you have a crumbly mixture.
  4. Add the broccoli rabe and pulse again and then add the olive oil.  Blend until you have a smooth and creamy sauce.  Taste and add salt or pepper if needed. Broccoli Rabe Pesto | Life Healthfully Lived

You can use this pesto anywhere that you would use regular pesto.  Pasta, bread, vegetables, vegetable noodles, spoons, fingers… You know, the usual.  It would be a great spring-like dish to bring to your Easter feast on Sunday and a great way to get in extra vegetables.

I hope you have a great Easter weekend and I’ll see you on Monday!