Today's tip

Found in the colder months, broccoli rabe is popular in Italy and cooked in many fashions.

When preparing broccoli rabe, you want to make sure you remove the lower leaves, which are tough and have a pungent, bitter flavor. The slender green florets are the best part; clip off about 1/3 of the lower part of the stem, remove the tough larger leaves (they usually have a pungent, bitter flavor), and if the remaining stem is tough, peel it with a standard potato peeler. Wash in plenty of cold water and drain. You can blanch it, braise it, steam it. Broccoli rabe is especially good with sausage, garlic, and oil. It is also delicious cooked with bacon or anchovies. It makes a great vegetable side, appetizer, or pasta dressing and the leftovers make great sandwiches.