One farmer at the very end of the market (I forget their name...) sells the best french string beans we've ever had. They are thin, firm, with a bright green color that attest their freshness. We simply steam them and eat them with a little bit of butter melted on top. This farmer also sells what they label as "Italian broccoli" but is actually broccoli rabe. When my father visited last summer he immediately recognized these greens. They are not common in France, but his Italian grand mother would prepare them when he was a child. My father didn't remember how she would cook them so we made a few trials and here is what we came up with. They were the perfect side dish for our breaded veal scalopini (also a heritage from our Italian descents).
Broccoli rabe with tomatoes
- 1 lb (500 g) broccoli rabe
- 3 or 4 tomatoes
- 1 small yellow onion (or given the size they have in California, just one half)
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- Wash and steam the broccoli rabe for a few minutes (3 or 4) in a pressure cooker.
- Thinly slice the onion. Peel the garlic clove, cut in half and remove the stem.
- Heat up 1 or 2 tbsp olive oil in a deep pan.
- Sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes on medium heat until translucent.
- Add the broccoli rabe, close with a lid and cook for a few minutes.
- Cut the tomatoes in 4 or 8 wedges depending on their size, add to the pan and cook several more minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Breaded veal scalopini ("Escalopes de veau panées")
- 1 or 2 veal scalopini per person
- 1 egg, beaten in a bowl
- 1 or 2 handfuls bread crumbs, in a bowl
- salt and pepper
- at least 2 tbsp butter
- Season with salt and pepper
- Dip in beaten egg
- Dip in bread crumb and cover evenly
- Pan fry in a good amount of butter (add more butter before flipping as the bread crumb will absorb it), 1 or 2 minutes on each side over high heat.
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