If you are a fan of crossword puzzles, you might have come across the clue “broccoli follower” in the New York Times crossword. This clue has appeared multiple times in different puzzles, and the answer is always the same: RABE. But what is rabe, and why is it related to broccoli?
What is Rabe?
Rabe, also spelled raab, rapa, rapini, or broccoli raab, is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the same family as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and turnips. It has long stems, small yellow flowers, and leaves that resemble mustard greens. Rabe is a common ingredient in Italian, Chinese, and Portuguese cuisines, and it has a slightly bitter and nutty flavor. Rabe is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, and antioxidants, and it can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation. According to Levels Answers, rabe is the answer of the NYT crossword clue “broccoli follower” featured on the puzzle grid of January 8, 20231.
How to Cook Rabe?
Rabe can be eaten raw, but it is usually cooked to reduce its bitterness and make it more tender. There are many ways to prepare rabe, such as boiling, steaming, sautéing, roasting, or grilling. Here are some simple and delicious recipes to try:
- Boil rabe in salted water for about 5 minutes, then drain and toss with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve as a side dish or a salad.
- Steam rabe for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a skillet and cook with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and anchovies. Serve with pasta, bread, or polenta.
- Sauté rabe with olive oil, garlic, onion, and bacon. Add some chicken broth and simmer until the liquid is reduced. Season with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve with rice, potatoes, or couscous.
- Roast rabe in the oven with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and spices. You can also add some cherry tomatoes, olives, or nuts for extra flavor and texture. Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the stems are crisp and the leaves are wilted. Serve as a snack or a side dish.
- Grill rabe over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until charred and tender. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with grilled meat, fish, or cheese.
Why is Rabe a Broccoli Follower?
Rabe is a broccoli follower because it is closely related to broccoli, and it is often harvested after the broccoli crop. Rabe grows best in cool weather, and it can tolerate frost and drought. Rabe is usually planted in late summer or early fall, and it is ready to harvest in late fall or early winter. Rabe can also be planted in early spring, and it will mature in late spring or early summer. Rabe is a fast-growing vegetable, and it can be harvested multiple times in a season. Rabe is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can add some color and flavor to your meals. Next time you see the clue “broccoli follower” in the NYT crossword, you will know the answer and the benefits of this vegetable.