January 11, 2010

Broccoli Rabe and Spinach w/ Garlic Chips

 A Very Happy New Year to Everyone Here. 

The vacation days disappeared into a jumble of photos and memories with multiple sets of family members visiting us and we visiting some of them. Lots of fun trips, talking, catching up, adjusting our mental images of how old the kids have grown and eating and more eating.....no wonder all the diets start in January along with fresh resolutions.
New year is a time you stop to see what you really achieved in the previous year and then just like the year, we reset the demands on ourselves.check out .this timely article ..it really hits it on the nail.

While the other personal resolutions are already  up and running as am I,  my food resolutions are not so anchored. At the most , I can resolve to eat more veggies and fruits and less sugar, and less of white foods. Not that this is going to deter me from eating anything but it may help in forcing me to check the worthiness of each junk food consumed.

Broccoli Rabe is better known as Saag Leaves in India and is the base of the famous Sarson Ka Saag, a staple of Punjabi cuisine. Sarson ka saag is  mashed greens cooked with spices and its bitterness is smothered  with ghee. A really acquired taste, it can create strong emotions of like and dislikes in most Indians.

For the longest time, I didn't know it was one and the same and used to trek to the Subzi Mandi groceries in search of the elusive leaves. It was only thanks to some Italian friends and cuisine, that we got introduced to the Broccoli Rabe, freely available in all Supermarkets. I guess some Italians are as ga-ga over these leaves as most Indians. Long story short, now I have endless supply of the rabe and I make half the bunch into saag for the  kids and myself while I go for this stirfry recipe for DH. I mix it with spinach to tame its bitterness but its optional. I had spinach on hand to make the saag this time.

Broccoli Rabe is a relative of the turnip family, and loaded with many healthy benefits. The taste is a little ( ok, a whole lot ) bitter, and I promise this is the last of my bitter loving recipes. Blanching it in water for a couple minutes takes some of that bitterness away. Toss this sauted greens with some  fresh boiled pasta ( similar to this recipe or this recipe) ....it makes for an instant meal too. Kids need the taste tempered with cream or cheese sauce and some grilled chicken or sausage too.

You Will Need:
Spinach- 1/2 pound or half a bunch
Broccoli rabe- 1/2  pound or half a bunch
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 clove garlic
salt to taste
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Soak the leaves in a pot of water and then wash the broccoli rabe and spinach in water till there is no sand left and keep separate. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut off the bottom one inch of thick stem of the broccoli rabe and place the leaves as is in the boiling water. Cook until tender but still firm, about 3 minutes. Drain and run cold water on it in a colander. Chop the leaves coarsely or leave it as is. Leave the spinach raw and chop them too.

Slice the garlic into very very fine slices. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and fry the garlic  till it crisps up but doesn't get burnt. Remove onto a paper towel and reserve.

In the remaining oil, add some crushed red pepper flakes, saute and then stir in the broccoli rabe, spinach and saute on high heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until all the moisture evaporates. Some like it barely cooked and some like it well done. If you like it crunchier, saute for less time. Add salt and lemon juice and adjust taste. Garnish  with the garlic chips and serve. If you plan to serve it later, add the chips only just before serving.


Happy cook said...

Beautiful, delcious and healthy. My resoloutions never go far than few days :-)

indosungod said...

The greens look so inviting with the garlic chips on top for the crunch. I have to buy myself some broccoli rabe, have not used it.

Bong Mom said...

Have never tried garlic chips!!! Looks yumm
"Personal resolutions are up and running"...you go girl.

Deepa G Joshi said...

nice and healthy dish..looks good..

Jayashree said...

Looks so wholesome. Happy new year, Shaheen....

Rekha shoban said...

nice colourful...healthy one

sra said...

Have never tried the garlic chips by design, only by accident, but am inspired to make some now. Best of luck for all your goals this year!

Nags said...

love the garlic chips idea!

Mallugirl said...

haapy cook,well, so far so good.. lets see after a few days if i still have my resolutions.

indo,suprising that u haven't got the rabe leaves. try it.


deepa, healthy, yeah definitely.

jaysree, Happy new year to u too.

rekha, the garlic chips add a dot of color, don't they?

sra, "garlic chips by accident" lol!!

nags..veg dish so u would like it.:)

Rahin said...

Garlic chips, i love those , always tend to fly way before we can use them for the garnish

Srivalli said...

That really looks so healthy!..and garlic chips sounds so good..I love garlic..so this must be great!..on rule I never make any resolutions..:))..though I ended up thinking of few..

MR said...

Lovely green vege
those garlic chips look like almond chips !!

Miri said...

Wow - what an amazing recipe - love the garlic chips!!

Myra said...

Bonne Anneé 2010
Happy new Year,Healthy and sweet

Broccili Rabe,???
I had something simalar during my visit to Mauritius called Brede,
i through it into a vegetable stock was delicious.
When i came home i saw something similar in a Chinese store and OMG it was sour,i felt prickles in my mouth, so it went in the compost!
Needless to say your recipe looks very Moorish XX
Yours Myra X

Jyothsna said...

Really, rabe is sarson ke patte? Have to see if thats found in my parts! And garlic chips is a great idea, will make those!

Mallugirl said...

rahin,, what other uses do u have for garlic chips..

sri, haha.. my resolutions stay till jan end.:) and then the year is old.

MR, almond chips.. yeah they do look decieveing. i did recipes of this rabe with pine nuts and raisins too so maybe almond is not a bad idea.

Myra, Happy new year to u too. These leaves are bitter and yeah they do need getting used to. they are also caled rapini.

Jyo, yup these are sarson ke patte. winter always reminds me of hot saag with ghee..yum!!

Geeta said...

Learned something new with your garlic chips idea...must try it with other dishes that need garlic too.
Love any kind of spinach and this dish sounds yummy.

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

I just made this and I had to thank you! Yummy!!!! I did a search for brocolli rabe and spinach since I had both left over and I found your recipe. I was going to make a shrimp and spinach dish but decided on jumbalya. The garlic chips were awesome but the whole thing together was perfection!!! Do you have any other ideas for garlic chips?