Take a bite of broccoli rabe and you'll see why this member of the cabbage family, popular in Italy, should make more appearances on plates in the United States. Its peppery taste can't be duplicated (though it could be compared with the bitter bite of arugula), and since every part is edible, it's an easy way to add zing to dishes.
Salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes are all you need to season this tender broccoli rabe from chef Eric Ripert. Serve with his Whole Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Red-Wine Butter Sauce for an elegant meal.
Cooking this stronger version of broccoli properly will ease much of its natural bitterness and yield an unusual and satisfying flavor. Try serving it with grilled Italian sausages and crusty bread.
From the book "Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Wiley).