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Sweet and Spicy Broccoli Rabe


A sweet and spicy broccoli rabe recipe that takes the bitterness right out of the nutrient dense vegetable in this easy sauté.

If I was half way good at this blogging thing I would’ve had a very entertaining (only in retrospect) story for you today involving a 5 mile run, a thunderstorm and a towed car.

Whipping out the camera and properly documenting such events when they are actually occurring, however, was just not second nature at the time.

There were the practical thoughts such as my phone getting ruined from the torrential rain I got to stand in while calling Ulysses 25 times to no avail. And, there was also the reality that while this was happening I was in no way thinking about how *blog worthy* the event was.

I’ll leave it up to your imagination the expletives that were coming from my mouth instead.

Also, I like to try and keep my blog content under the $175 price point.

Yeah, that was the most expensive run of my life.

So instead of funny stories, I shall give you vegetables in the form of this sweet and spicy broccoli rabe recipe.

Sweet and spicy Broccoli Rabe

I know, it’s a sorry excuse for a tradeoff.

I promise it’s good though.

To make it even better I highly recommend you start here.

wine and music

Wine + music. A cook’s best friend.

I’ll give you a minute to open the bottle.

Ok, ready? Good.

broccoli rabe

We eat a lot of broccoli. Like a lot, a lot.

I buy at least 4 heads of the stuff a week. It’s easy, it’s cheap and it’s good for you. Every week I walk right up to the broccoli section, grab my plain ‘ole broccoli and move on.

Yesterday however, I decided to get crazy and pay broccoli’s more expensive and bitter cousin, broccoli rabe, some attention.

I used to hate this stuff as a kid.

My parents loved it though and therefore it would inevitably end up on our dinner plates at least once a week.

If dad was working late, mom just boiled it. When dad was home, however, it got sautéed in lots of yummy olive oil and doused in salt. The days dad was home were much better.

Alone, broccoli rabe is a pretty bitter green and doesn’t have many redeeming qualities besides its nutritional profile. That’s why you have to jazz it up.

broccoli rabe ingredients

And jazz it up I did.

Garlic, red pepper, little nuggets of gold, raisins and dried cherries.

Spicy & sweet may sound like a weird combo but, I assure you it works here. Deliciously.

Sweet and spicy Broccoli Rabe Saute

Served with this for dinner? I can’t believe I’m about to say this but,…amazeballs.

Easy Sweet and Spicy Broccoli Rabe

The end.

More greens like this to try:

Simple Sautéed Swiss Chard
Dandelion Greens + Beans Skillet
Girl and the Goat Grilled Broccoli
Simple Grilled Baby Bok Choy
Roasted Tomato Spinach Salad with Citrus Mustard Vinaigrette

Sweet and Spicy Broccoli Rabe

Sweet and Spicy Broccoli Rabe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A sweet and spicy broccoli rabe recipe that takes the bitterness right out of the nutrient dense vegetable in this easy saute.


  • 1 head of broccoli rabe, washed & trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons raisins, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries, chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • salt & pepper


  1. Bring medium pot of water to a boil.
  2. Blanch broccoli rabe for 2 minutes, quickly drain and set aside (you could submerge in an ice bath here if you're ambitious. That's just more bowls to clean so I skip that step).
  3. Heat pan with olive oil to medium high.
  4. Saute garlic and red pepper flakes for 30 seconds to a 1 minute, careful not to burn garlic.
  5. Add broccoli rabe to pan, season generously with salt & pepper and coat with olive oil mixture. Cook 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add raisins and cherries and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  7. Transfer to serving bowl and top with pine nuts.


Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen

Do you like broccoli rabe?

What’s the most cooked vegetable in your house?

Mango Lassi
Mango Lassi
15 Miles and a Stir Fry

10K training plan

Thursday 25th of August 2011

[...] good news? I’ve gotten in all my long runs and they’ve actually felt great (minus the whole towed car part of the 5 miler). Running 7 miles this Monday was the first time I’ve run that distance in [...]

sarah@spinach and spice

Sunday 14th of August 2011

i'm slowly but surely making my way through your older posts, and i've gotta say i'm already in love with your recipes. book marking this now and adding you to my blog roll! hahaah amaaaazeballs

Running to the Kitchen

Sunday 14th of August 2011

Thanks Sarah!

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

Friday 12th of August 2011

I don't usually love broccoli rabe, but this actually sounds great!

Jen @ Light Enough to Travel

Wednesday 10th of August 2011

Another tip with pine nuts besides freezing them... buy them in a sealed package that has an expiration date! They are expensive things for sure, so this one time I bought some in bulk... you know, just enough called for in the recipe I wanted to make (which was a thanksgiving mushroom stuffing). Turns out they had gone rancid in the store. The problem is that rancid pine nuts taste just like regular pine nuts, except that if you eat them raw (I had been snacking on them raw while making the stuffing) they leave a horrible bitter aftertaste in your mouth for like a WEEK. No kidding. Everything you eat for a week tastes like $#!t. My thanksgiving dinner was effectively ruined, and so was my week. My husband (then-boyfriend) didn't experience any negative effects because he only ate what came out of the oven. Apparently if you cook them thoroughly it's not so bad. This is a real thing! I couldn't figure out where the awful taste was coming from until I googled "pine nuts bitter aftertaste." Then it all made sense.

Anyway! Your dinner looks yummy! We like all veggies around here, and while baby bok choi is my very favourite, I think that broccoli is the husband's favourite. It's also our go-to staple, especially when I can't think of what else to make. Have you tried it on the BBQ?

Running to the Kitchen

Friday 12th of August 2011

I haven't tried it on the BBQ, great idea! I roast it in the oven sometimes, I bet the BBQ would be even better! That pine nut story sounds horrible...haha!

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

Wednesday 10th of August 2011

This looks great! Glad to find your site