Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Tartine
Despite their similar appearance and shared moniker, broccoli and broccoli rabe are more like distant cousins than siblings. Leafy broccoli rabe packs a piquant bite. More closely related to the turnip and mustard green than its mild counterpart, broccoli rabe (aka rapini, among other aliases) is equally enjoyed for its leafy bits, flowery parts and willowy stems.
While old-school broccoli can use sprucing up, broccoli rabe needs a little taming. The bold broccoli rabe is a great match for chili flakes but can use a little balance to subdue the peppery heat, like a creamy ricotta cheese. Autumn mushrooms add an earthy complexity to the medley, creating harmony on a piece of toast.
And where broccoli and broccoli rabe diverge in taste, they reunite in nutritional value: both are powerhouse sources of vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium, calcium and iron. A happy ending in the tale of two broccoli.
With this tartine, the spicy sausage does the heavy lifting in the flavor department. If omitting, add an extra pinch of chili flakes to compensate.
- ½ pound broccoli rabe (from 1 bunch)
- 2 spicy sausage links (½ pound) ,
- 1 handful of mushrooms, torn
- Olive oil
- 1 loaf crusty wood-oven bread (Della Fattoria is one of my favorites)
- 12 ounces sheep-milk ricotta
- Red chili flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to broil.
Trim the bottom inch of the broccoli rabe, and slice large stalks in half lengthwise.
In a large skillet, sauté the sausage and the mushrooms until cooked through and crumbled. Set aside.
Turn the heat to high and add a drizzle of olive oil. Sauté broccoli rabe until the greens wilt and the flowers and stems soften, just a few minutes. Add the sausage and mushrooms back into the skillet to combine the flavors. Season to taste.
Slice the bread into ¾-inch-thick slices, and drizzle with olive oil. Broil until brown, turning halfway through cooking so both sides are crisp.
Spread the toast with a generous amount of fresh ricotta, and top with broccoli rabe mixture. Finish with a pinch of chili flakes, if desired.
Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Tartine was published in the Fall 2015 issue. © 2015 Edible San Francisco. All photos © 2015 Kathleen Korb.