This roasted broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, is a quick and delicious side dish to change up your weeknight dinners. Toss with red pepper flakes and freshly squeezed orange juice for a surprisingly delightful bite.
Side dishes are always an afterthought for me; they are usually not too inspired, and they tend to be something quick that doesn’t require too much thinking or too many dirty dishes.
And to be completely honestly, sometimes I just skip the sides all together.
I know. Not the right approach if you’re trying to get in a variety of fruits and vegetables every single day (enter smoothies!), but when time is of the essence, sometimes something has to give.
For me, right now, I’ve let side dishes slip away. Which means that you too, may be struggling with sides and looking for new easy ideas for vegetables you may not typically reach for.
Enter one of my all-time favourite vegetables, broccoli rabe (or rapini). It’s bitter and slightly nutty and has so much flavour. It is so good no matter how you cook it.
I love using a variety of flavours that compliment it’s bitterness and bring out some sweet notes.
How do you make this side?
Start by trimming the woody ends of your broccoli rabe and toss it with some olive oil, sesame oil, orange zest, red pepper flakes and salt.
This recipe cooks in the oven on a sheet pan at 425F and is ready in 10 minutes.
What other ingredients would pair well?
There are a few substitutions that could work really well in this recipe. You could opt for lemon instead of the fresh orange if that’s what you have on hand. That said, I do love the subtle sweetness that the fresh orange brings to this dish.
You could also add some fresh garlic–which is a classic flavour combination.
This recipe was inspired by another recipe from the New York Times by Melissa Clarke, I loved the flavours she used (orange/sesame oil) along with the broccoli rabe, which I’ve replicated here.
If you’re looking for more side dish inspo, pesto cauliflower is an absolute star.