© Denzil Green
Rapini is green, leafy vegetable that is a variety of broccoli.
It differs from regular broccoli in that the florets are small, there are more leaves, and it has a slightly bitter bite to the taste. The stems and skin on them are also much thinner, making them tender enough to be eaten without peeling, as you need to do with regular broccoli stems.
Rapini holds its own better than plain broccoli would in dishes where there are other strong flavoured ingredients, such as garlic or spicy sausages.
Buy bunches that have healthy, open leaves and tightly closed florets.
Wash rapini thoroughly (it is often sandy.) Cut off the bottom part of the stalks, but leave the leaves, buds and stem as they are quite tender.
Remove any binding, wrap in damp paper towel, place in plastic bag and store in refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days.
Rapini, like broccoli, is native to the Mediterranean region. Its history is intertwined with broccoli; see entry on broccoli.