Braised Broccoli and Rapini with Cream

Rapini (Broccoli Rabe)

Rapini (Broccoli Rabe)

by Cat, Nov 2007 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

See also: Basic Braised Greens (About); more braised greens recipes at Side Dishes menu

Your doctor has probably advised that you eat more dark green leafy vegetables, and braising is a great way to do that (see Basic Braised Greens (About) for details about the health reasons to braise your greens).

You can use just one kind of greens or mix it up. This recipe uses broccoli and rapini (broccoli rabe); if you can’t find rapini, add chopped kale or turnip greens. The cream sauce is an added rich touch that enhances the availability of the minerals in the greens.

Braised Broccoli and Rapini with Cream

This recipe is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, December 2007.  Broccoli and broccoli rabe (also called rapini) are both used, but if you cannot find broccoli rabe, just use broccoli.  Rabe is very leafy, with the leaves surrounding a green bud that resembles a very small broccoli, but this veggie is more closely related to turnips than broccoli.

The original recipe calls for 1 Tbsp thawed orange juice concentrate, but I prefer not to use processed foods.  Instead, I suggest using 1 tsp grated zest and 1-2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice.

This recipe serves 5 – 6.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 1 orange
  • 6 cups broccoli florets and/or broccoli rabe, in 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp Unrefined sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
  • 3-quart saucier, saucepan or Dutch oven
  • tea kettle or saucepan
  • serving bowl


  1. Toast almonds (see Toasting Nuts & Seeds near bottom of that page).
  2. Bring some water to a boil in tea kettle or saucepan, then reduce to simmer to keep hot.
  3. Grate 1 tsp zest from orange, and squeeze 2 Tbsp orange juice.  Set aside.
  4. Thoroughly wash broccoli and rabe.  Cut broccoli into individual florets, about 1 1/2 inch diameter.  Cut rabe bud and stem, with leaves, to 1 1/2 inch length; trim remaining leaves and add to the broccoli and rabe.  (reserve discarded stems for future veggie broth).
  5. Melt butter in large saucepan or saucier over medium-low heat.  Add veggies and heat, stirring to coat with the butter, for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add boiling water and salt.  Cover and simmer 6 – 8 minutes until just tender (test with tines of a fork).  The greens should still be bright green.  Remove them with slotted spoon to serving dish and keep warm, reserving water in pot.
  7. Add cream, orange zest, juice, and cracked black pepper to reserved water in saucepan.  Heat through.  Spoon over broccoli in serving bowl, and sprinkle toasted almonds over the greens.


  1. Better Homes and Gardens, December 2007


About Cat

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