Try making broccoli raab be your go-to spring vegetable

  • Broccoli Raab Spring Cheddar Beer Soup is just one way to use the versatile vegetable broccoli raab. The creamy cheese and beer offset the slightly bitter taste.

    Broccoli Raab Spring Cheddar Beer Soup is just one way to use the versatile vegetable broccoli raab. The creamy cheese and beer offset the slightly bitter taste. Courtesy of Biz Velatini

 
 
Posted4/14/2021 6:00 AM

Broccoli Raab is a spring vegetable that you may not have ever tried before. Even though there is broccoli in the name, broccoli raab is part of the turnip family, which gives it a delicious bitter note.

Blanching the broccoli raab for a minute then immediately placing it in an ice bath to stop the cooking process will remove some of the bitterness. For meal prep, I blanch the broccoli raab and, after it cools in the ice bath, remove it to a strainer to drain. I store in a zip-lock bag with a paper towel to use later in the week.

 

I had so much fun creating three recipes today that let the flavor and crunch of broccoli raab shine. If you've never tried broccoli raab, I pinkie swear you will love all three of these dishes.

The first recipe for Broccoli Raab and Shrimp Lo Mein is packed with flavor and composed of just a few simple ingredients. Look for lo mein noodles labeled "fresh cooked noodles" or "heat and serve." These noodles simply need a few minutes to heat up, making this dish ready in less than 10 minutes. The spicy peanut sauce balances perfectly with the slightly bitter note of the broccoli raab.

My second dish is unlike any broccoli cheese soup you have ever had because it is more like a consommé consistency, if that makes sense. It has carrot, broccoli raab, almond milk and sharp cheddar cheese. Pair this soup with a nice salad or sandwich, and you have got yourself a light spring dinner. Side note: The Bud Light Lime adds a bit of acidity to this soup, which is so good!

Lastly, I got the idea for this roast beef sandwich after watching an old Food Network episode where the host visited Philadelphia. There was a restaurant that served roast pork with a spicy broccoli raab and provolone cheese. My recipe is simple and easy because I use store-bought buns and deli rare roast beef.

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If you are unfamiliar with broccoli raab, I hope you try it out using one or all these recipes.

• My Bizzy Kitchen runs once a month in Food. Follow Biz Velatini on her blog at mybizzykitchen.com/, on Instagram at instagram.com/mybizzykitchen/?hl=en and Facebook at facebook.com/mybizzykitchen.

Broccoli Raab Shrimp Lo Mein.
Broccoli Raab Shrimp Lo Mein. - Courtesy of Biz Velatini
Broccoli Raab and Shrimp Lo Mein

For the sauce

¼ cup powdered peanut butter

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sambal oelek (Thai chile sauce)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

For the stir-fry

4 cups broccoli raab

12 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 cups lo mein noodles (fresh)

Salt and pepper to taste

Grapeseed oil

Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and blanch the broccoli raab for one minute, then place in an ice bath (a bowl of water with ice) to stop the cooking process. Drain and squeeze dry with paper towels. Chop and set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Add oil to wok over medium heat. Salt and pepper the shrimp, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Toss in the lo mein and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Lastly, add the chopped broccoli raab and sauce and cook for one minute.

Divide the mixture between four plates and enjoy!

Serves 4

Broccoli Raab Spring Cheddar Beer Soup

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

¼ cup flour

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon mustard powder

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups broccoli raab, blanched and chopped

12 ounces Bud Light Lime

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon salt

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

4 teaspoons herbed olive oil

In a stock pot, melt butter. Add the carrots, celery and ¼ cup of the chicken broth and cook for 15 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are fork tender. Add flour and stir for one minute. Slowly add the remainder of the chicken stock. Add almond milk, mustard powder, black pepper, garlic, blanched broccoli raab and the lime beer. Simmer for five minutes.

Remove from heat. Using a stick blender or strong blender, puree the soup. Return to pan, add the cheese and stir just until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

Garnish with a teaspoon of herbed oil in each bowl.

Serves 4, makes 2 cups

Broccoli raab pesto makes a crunchy foil to roast beef on these sandwiches.
Broccoli raab pesto makes a crunchy foil to roast beef on these sandwiches. - Courtesy of Biz Velatini
Broccoli Raab Italian Beef Sandwiches

For the broccoli pesto

1 cup broccoli raab, blanched, dried and chopped

2 teaspoons grapeseed oil

4 cloves roasted garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon honey

For the sandwich

4 good buns

8 ounces deli rare Italian beef

4 slices provolone cheese

In a skillet, add all the ingredients for the pesto and cook for five minutes. Set aside.

Place the bottom of the buns on a baking sheet, add the cheese and broil until the cheese starts to melt. Top with two ounces of the Italian beef and ¼ of the broccoli pesto and add the top bun.

Serve with homemade or frozen french fries.

Serves 4

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