Broccoli rabe sounded so delicious, and the only time I’d ever had it was in Chinese food. Then I found this recipe, which included the rabe, sausage, Parmesan, and grapes as it infused in Italian cooking. There was no way I wasn’t going to try this one.

I was a bit hesitant with the grapes, but the dish sounded so tempting to make. The trip to the grocery store was a hassle, where broccoli rabe wasn’t available. I then opted for kale, in which a friend said kale was not good, no matter which dish it is called for. I shrugged and thought that at least I can cover the kale with the Parmesan and green seedless grapes.

I felt a bit of a foodie whispering when I decided to venture into making the dish with kale instead of the broccoli rabe. I was definitely hooked. The dish was so delicious, with the definite and sharp flavors from the sausage, kale, and grapes. Each ingredient shone through with its own flair, and the combination worked so well together. It was an easy dish to make, and a daring one for me with kale. Hands down, one of the best recipe I was glad to tumble upon this year.

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 (4-ounce) links hot or sweet pork Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 cups green grapes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine or water
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved

Start the Engine:

  1. Cook broccoli rabe in boiling water 1 1/2 minutes; drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well. Place in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage; cook for 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add grapes, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook for 2 minutes or until grapes begin to soften. Add sausage mixture to broccoli rabe.
  3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes or until soft. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, sausage mixture, and vinegar. Toss to combine; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese; serve immediately.

Mark Bittman, Cooking Light
APRIL 2012