Monday, April 06, 2009

In Season: Rapini By Any Other Name

Wanted: Rapini, aka raab, rabe, broccoli raab, broccoli rabe, broccoletti, broccoli di rape, cime di rapa, rappi, friarielli (in Naples) and grelos.

Known Associates, Other Aliases: One of the notorious Brassiceae tribe of the Brassicaceae family, but may also be calling itself Brassica rapa subspecies rapa, in the same subspecies as the turnip, but has had various other designations, including Brassica rapa ruvo, Brassica rapa rapifera, Brassica ruvo, Brassica campestris ruvo.

May disguise its looks, in this case, chopped and sautéed with garlic.

Distinguishing marks: Many spiked leaves surrounding a green bud which looks very similar to a small head of broccoli. There may be small yellow flowers blooming from the buds, which are edible with a flavor that has been described as nutty, bitter, pungent, and "an acquired taste."

When found: Report its whereabouts immediately to the nearest dinner table, preferably sauteed in olive oil and garlic. Salt and pepper may be required.

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the descriptions.)

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