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Broccoli raab (broccoli rabe) with honey and grapes

Broccoli raab with honey and grapes

Broccoli raab scares me a little bit. I'm never entirely sure how to pronounce it; here in Rhode Island, it's called (and spelled) rabe and pronounced ROBBY. It's also called rapini, pronounced rah-PEE-nee. Whatever you call it, broccoli raab tastes like a more bitter broccoli, which makes it the perfect foil for a bit of sweetness.

Created by chef Julia Shanks and adapted from her cookbook, The Farmer's Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Your CSA and Farmers' Market Foods (written with Brett Grohsgal), this recipe draws sugar from the grapes and honey to balance the bite of the "robby". I used both Aleppo pepper and red pepper flakes (though the original recipe calls for one or the other), in equal amounts, because you can never have too much of a good thing. Serve as a side dish to grilled chicken or pork.

Broccoli raab with honey and grapes, an unusual combination that really works. The honey cuts the bitterness of the broccoli.

Broccoli raab (broccoli rabe) with honey and grapes  {vegetarian, gluten-free}

From the pantry, you'll need: ground cumin, red pepper flakes, Aleppo pepper, honey, olive oil, garlic, kosher salt, black pepper.

Adapted from The Farmer's Kitchen, this recipe serves 4.


1 bunch broccoli raab
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cup grapes, cut in half
2 Tbsp honey, or more to taste
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste


Trim the ends off the broccoli raab, and chop coarsely. Wash and drain, then dry in a clean dish towel or salad spinner.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the oil, then the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds until aromatic. Add the chili flakes, Aleppo pepper and cumin, and cook for 30 seconds more to toast them. Add the raab, and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns bright green. If the pan seems dry, add 1/4 cup of water. Stir in the grapes and honey, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More broccoli:
Broccoli and cauliflower sformantino, from The Perfect Pantry
Potato and broccoli raab casserole, from FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Fresh fettucini with broccoli raab in a lemony tomato sauce, from Herbivoracious
Broccoli rabe with cannellini and pasta, from Blue Kitchen

Broccoli raab (or rabe) with honey and grapes: serve it with roast chicken or pork.

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I would love this! I haven't had much luck finding broccoli rabe here though the farmer's market sometimes has it once it gets started.

I was nervous about broccoli raab too, but got to know it this past summer. The key is to pair it with something - like a roast - that can stand up to the strong flavor.

Hmm, grapes? That's interesting! I love sweet and savory, so I'd probably like it.

What a great way to spice up your greens! Honey is definitely a staple in my pantry and I appreciate this recipe offering me another way to use it.

I agree with T.W. - I especially like raab with rich meats like short ribs.

Raab is definitely a cool weather crop, so it's more mild in the winter than in the summer.

Kalyn, I think because there's such a large Italian population here in Rhode Island, most of the grocery stores carry broccoli rabe all year.

TW, does your CSA grow rabe? This will be a great recipe to try.

Jenn, I'm a bit of a grape addict, so this recipe really worked for me!

Goodeats, a little bit of honey is a good thing here, and it doesn't make the dish overly sweet.

Julia, thanks for sharing the recipe, and for the tip about winter rabe. For those who don't like extremely bitter greens, then, this would be a good time of year to try it.

We're big fans of rabe around here and I can't wait to try them with grapes! My preschooler will love that.

Last year we picked up brussel sprouts rabe at the farmer's market a few weeks and it was such a treat. It's also how I convinced my kids to try brussel sprouts.

Thanks for sharing.

Absolutely love the addition of grapes with this. Broccoli rabe is one of my favorites

looks good to me but definitely too exotic for my Irish meat and potatoes husband so....

An excellent post as always, Lydia. We love rapini simply sauteed with plenty of garlic butter. I imagine the grapes would be a perfect balance to the bitter green. Lovely!

Oh my, this looks fabulous! Do you think it would taste just as good with green grapes?

I've never been a big fan of broccoli rabe because I've always found it to be too bitter. The addition of honey and grapes in this recipe is genius! I can't wait to give broccoli rabe another try!

The first time I had this, it was in a very upscale restaurant. I tasted and told my husband, "They can call this anything they want, but this is turnip greens." I went home and looked it up - same family.

Gina, I'm a huge grapes fan, and if my mom had paired grapes with broccoli of any sort, I would have learned to love it when I was a kid.

Maris, I do love the balance of sweet with bitter in this recipe.

Carol, we must work on your husband and get his taste buds up to speed!

Aimee, I love it with garlic butter, too. This is a completely different experience and that's what made it such a treat for me.

Hannah, absolutely! But we food bloggers must sometimes go for color which is why I used the red grapes.

Fortycloves, try this. You can make it as sweet/hot as you like.

Janet, turnip greens? Who knew?!

Love the flavors you have here, Lydia. I'm a native RI'der, and always look forward to eating at my favorite mom-and-pop Italian restaurants whenever I go home to visit.

I can think of many places where you can order huge bowls of rabe as a "side dish", redolent of garlic and coated with lots of olive oil. Sustains me for months!

How delicious. I'm not sure we have rabe here (UK) - my American friend and I have often discussed it, and I've never quite understand what she's on about. I guess the closest is tenderstem?

I cook my rabe with pine nuts, tons of garlic and golden raisins, but I love the idea of the grapes. It's the same, but different. I'm definitely bookmarking this one.

Karen, these RI folks sure do know how to cook with Italian ingredients! I love it.

Sprinzette, rabe might go by a different name (maybe rapini?). I don't know tenderstem, so I'm going to look that up now.

Molly, raisins are even more concentrated sweetness, so I'm guessing it's absolutely delicious.

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