Rappini Broccoli Rabe
Rapini or broccoli rabe is a green cruciferous vegetable, with the leaves, buds, and stems all being edible; the buds somewhat resemble broccoli but do not form a large head. Rapini is known for its slightly bitter taste and is particularly associated with Mediterranean cuisine.
The young, tender leaves and stalks are commonly eaten raw in salads. The slightly more bitter taste of the mature plants tends to be moderated by trimming away the tough stems and midribs before cooking the vegetable as a whole.
Rapini is popular in Mediterranean regions such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece. In the Southern United States, it is referred to as broccoli raab or rabe. In German-speaking regions rapini are known as Brokkoli-Rabi , in Hungary they are called brokát krumpli és retek , while in France they are sometimes called brocoli rave.
Rape in the Italian language refers to turnip, so broccoli rabe is called cavolo broccolo in Tuscany. Broccoli raab is often confused with rapini or "broccoli" ("Brassica oleracea" var italica) known as calabrese in Italy, which are two different vegetables.
Rapini, like all cruciferous vegetables, contains generous amounts of vitamin K (a key player in blood clotting). Other nutrients in rapini include folate, manganese, and fiber. Rapini may increase the likelihood of certain health problems, but overall rapini is considered safe for healthy adults.
Possible side effects of rapini include flatulence and indigestion. In some rare cases, people who have a history of kidney stones should not eat rapini because it contains high levels of calcium, which may increase the risk of developing kidney stones. If you are on a reduced-calorie diet, talk with your health care provider before adding rapini to your meal plan because it contains high levels of nutrients that are thought to cause weight gain.
Rapini is likely safe when consumed in amounts typically found in food. There is not enough information to know if rapini is safe when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts.
When taken by mouth in high doses, rapini may cause certain side effects including abdominal pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, or allergic reactions. Rapini might also interfere with how the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. This might decrease the effectiveness of other medications or increase their side effects.