Broccoli Rabe Pesto
1. Fill a pot with enough water to cover the greens and bring to a rolling boil.
2. Meanwhile, trim off any discolored tips from the bottom of the broccoli rabe and use a paring knife to peel the skin off the thicker stems. Sever all the stems from the crowns. Wash the greens in abundant cold water.
3. To the boiling water, add the kosher salt and the 3 tablespoons olive oil, followed by the broccoli rabe. Cook over high heat until the broccoli rabe is tender but firm, a total of 8 minutes.
4. Use a mesh strainer to lift the broccoli rabe out of the pot and transfer them to a colander; save the cooking water. Drain well, pressing to release excess water. They should be moist but not wet.
5. Coarsely grind the almonds, if using; the garlic, and pepper flakes, if using, in a food processor, 10-15 seconds. Add the drained broccoli rabe and 1/4 cup olive oil; pulse to puree until the broccoli rabe is creamy but still have some texture. Check for salt. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and while it is still warm, fold in the grated cheese.
TO STORE THE PESTO: To freeze, proceed to step 3 but don’t add in the grated cheese. Allow the pesto to cool and store it in a freeze-proof container. To use, thaw in the refrigerator and bring the pesto to room temperature. There is no need to reheat it if tossing with piping hot pasta.
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