Wow! A recipe from me that includes neither meat nor rice! This is a summer salad, served warm or at room temperature. Cime di rapa, also known as broccoli raab, rapini and other monikers, is a member of the brassica family of plants. The florets that may bloom yellow are also edible, so don't throw them away. The flavor is of slightly bitter, young broccoli. It is very popular in southern Italian cuisine. As usual with Italian recipes, the ingredients are few, so best quality of each component is a must! You can choose to soak and boil dried cannellini beans, if you wish, but, since it's summertime - what say we don't get the house any hotter than we have to? All you need to go along with this is some iced tea or...my choice...well-chilled Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio or even Gewürtztraminer.
GAYLE'S CIME DI RAPA & CANNELLINI BEAN SALAD
2 15 oz. cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1.5 lbs. cime di rapa (broccoli raab)
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
A dozen fresh sage leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim bottom inch or so off of the broccoli raab, then cut into 3 inch lengths. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil and cook until nearly tender. Drain well and transfer to salad bowl. While it is cooking, heat half of the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat and add stemmed sage leaves to the oil. Stir gently but constantly, until leaves are crispy, but don't let them turn brown. Remove leaves to a plate. Add garlic to oil and turn off heat. Don't allow garlic to brown. Heat beans, sage leaves, garlic with oil and broth in a saucepan and simmer for five minutes. Pour beans over broccoli raab and gently toss with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow to cool down to warm temperature. Just before serving, pour remaining olive oil over salad and toss once more.
Serves 4 as main course, 6 as salad course.