Rapini with Olives, Lemons, and Garlic

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch rapini, stems removed and rinsed
1 lemon, zest removed and reserved, and juiced
½ cup oil cured olives, pitted and sliced lengthwise into ¼ inch strips
½ brown onion, peeled and finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and de-germed, minced
½ cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped, or sage leaves cut into slivers.

 

METHOD:

Cut the lemon zest into fine strips or very fine diced. Taste a piece. If it is bitter, follow the blanching step. If it is very mild, as from a Meyer lemon, you can skip the blanching stage.

Bring a 10 inch sauté pan of water to a boil. Once boiling, using a strainer blanch the lemon zest for 15-20 seconds, then rinse in cold water.

Salt the water liberally, then blanch the rapini in the boiling water just until wilted. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water to arrest the cooking. Squeeze the rapini to remove excess water, then finely chop the rapini.

Return the pan to the heat and lower heat to medium.Film the pan bottom with oil. When hot, add the onions and toss to coat them with oil. Cook until onions are translucent.

Add the olives to the pan and cook just to warm through. Add the garlic and herbs and cook until fragrant and garlic is translucent. Add the lemon zest and stir into the ingredients in the pan.

Add the rapini, and stir to spread out. Drizzle with a little oil to lubricate and flavor the greens. Add the wine and stir the contents of the pan while cooking down the wine by 80%.

Drizzle the lemon juice over all the ingredients, again stirring to coat all vegetables and cook until all liquid is gone. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

 

CHEF’S NOTES:

This dish is good as a side dish, but also works well as a tapa or bruschetta. Cook the greens so they are almost completely dry and then mound on small slices of hearty grilled bread. Drizzle with a little fragrant olive oil. Serve warm or room temperature.

YIELD: Serves 4

SOURCE:  Chef Andrew E Cohen