By Layla Khoury-Hanold for Food Network Kitchen
Layla Khoury-Hanold is a contributing writer for Food Network.
Despite their similar names and appearance, broccoli, broccoli, and broccoli rabe are three very different vegetables. Here, we break down their differences and share with them our favorite ways to cook.
While these hardy greens have similar names and have sturdy green stems and small leafy flowers, they belong to different plant families and have subtle differences.
Broccoli stems are thick and crisp, and the head consists of tightly clustered florets. It has an earthy taste with a bitter taste. It’s a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw in a salad or lettuce plate, or as a side dish roasted, steamed, blanched, or sautéed. But we really love roasting broccoli to bring out its earthy sweet side. Be sure to trim off the tough outer skin of the stems before cooking. If cooking the stem with the florets, cut the stem into rounds about 1/4 inch thick to ensure it cooks at a similar rate to the florets.
Broccoli goes from side dish to headline in this fan-favorite chicken stir fry recipe. Using both the florets and stems helps add bulk to the plate and reduces waste, and the stems add a pleasing visual and textural contrast.
This recipe will make roasted broccoli your new favorite way to eat it. Arrange the florets and cut stems evenly on a baking sheet and place in the superheated oven until crisp edges and stems are tender.
The blanching and searing method is ideal for a vibrant broccoli dish that maintains a firm texture and balanced earthy sweetness further amplified by pepper flakes and garlic-infused oil. File this next to Simple Vegetables.
Broccoli has long, strong stems and leafy florets with small leaves. Broccoli has a milder and sweeter flavor than broccoli. Because of its thinner stems, broccoli requires less preparation than broccoli (which tends to have woodier stems). Broccoli is great for roasting, roasting, sautéing and steaming.
Roasted broccoli takes just 5 minutes on high heat for best results. You can serve it as-is, but chop it up and add it to a mix of white beans, sliced salami, and hot cherry peppers for a salad that’s just as good on the table or picnic mat.
Chopped broccoli sautéed in butter adds the ideal earthy sweetness to a plate of creamy risotto and sweet Italian sausage. Plus, it adds vibrant color and crunch.
The white pie with greens is a classic, but we especially love how the caramelized edge of the roasted broccoli mixes with the bubbly, sticky ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Pecorino Romano cheeses The thick mixture complements each other perfectly. A burst of fresh herbs pulls them together.
Broccoli rabe is the most bitter, so treat it like any other bitter greens like mustard or turnip greens. Try blanching or steaming it to soften stems and leaves, or roasting it under a broiler to reduce bitterness. Due to its slender profile, broccoli rabe cooks faster than broccoli and broccoli.
Cut broccoli rabe into 1-inch pieces and place in salted boiling water to ensure even cooking. After a quick blanching, broccoli rabe is charred in a hot pan and topped with olive oil and chili flakes, perfect for serving with meatballs or tossing pasta.
Broccoli rabe and sweet Italian sausage are the perfect pasta pairing. Here, the broccoli rabe is blanched to retain its bright green color and crispy texture, then cut into bite-sized pieces and dropped into the reserved pan drippings for a delicious punch or two, a lift Wear simple cat ears.
With its quick-cooking qualities, broccoli rabe is perfect for a gentle stew in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, broth, and red pepper flakes. The result is a delicious sandwich topping that really makes the deli sliced roast beef sing. Make a double batch and use garlic veggies on sandwiches, salads and cereal bowls.