Broccoli Rabe with Roasted Garlic

This broccoli rabe with roasted garlic is mellowed by sweet, roasted garlicky goodness and spiked with the warmth of red pepper flakes. An easy side dish for weeknight dinners. Here’s how to prepare it.

A white platter filled with broccoli rabe, topped with roasted garlic and red pepper flakes.

This broccoli rabe with roasted garlic is the real Italian deal that melds bitter rabe with sweetly nutty garlicky awesomeness. We could (almost) make an entire dinner of just this. (As for how to pronounce that tricky word after “broccoli,”don’t say the “e” at the end. It should sound like “rahb.” As if you were talking about going to rob a local grocer of his rabe. Not that you would ever do that.)–Renee Schettler

Broccoli Rabe with Roasted Garlic

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 10 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 6
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World: New York cookbook

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  • For the roasted garlic
  • For the broccoli rabe


Make the roasted garlic

Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).

Break the head of garlic into individual cloves but do not peel them. Stack 2 pieces of aluminum foil, each about 6 inches square, on top of one another. Pile the garlic cloves in the center of the foil, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bring up the corners of the foil and crimp together to make a tightly sealed little package. Roast until the garlic cloves feel soft and yielding when you gently pinch them, 30 to 40 minutes. Let the garlic cool slightly.

When the garlic is cool enough to handle, pinch the tip of each clove to squeeze the mushy goodness from the papery skins. Discard the skins but reserve the garlic oil in the foil.

Make the broccoli rabe

Meanwhile, trim and discard the tough stem ends from the broccoli rabe. Place the rabe in a large saucepan and add the water. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the broccoli rabe is tender and bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat the broccoli rabe dry. If desired, cut it into 1-inch lengths.

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the roasted garlic, any oil from the foil package, and the red pepper flakes, if desired, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, stir to combine, and saute just until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Originally published October 2, 2012.

Print RecipeBuy the Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World: New York cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

I’m a little obsessed with broccoli rabe. I love its bitterness and how well it pairs with garlic. So a recipe offering roasted garlic with rabe was just too good to pass up. This side dish was enjoyed by all, including my 6-year-old.

I had a hard time conceptualizing this dish before I made it, as I’d never cooked broccoli rabe in so little water. I usually blanch it, but the steaming method worked great and is much quicker since you don’t have to wait for the water to come to a boil. I also wasn’t certain how the roasted garlic would meld with the rapini. But basically once it’s tossed together with the olive oil, it becomes almost like a sauce, and a delicious one at that.

This was a flavorful and pretty dish that I’d definitely make again. The recipe calls for roasting the garlic in individual cloves rather than leaving the head whole. You drizzle the cloves with olive oil and season and then proceed with roasting. This method was faster than roasting the head whole. I like it. After cooking the broccoli rabe, it’s sautéed with the roasted garlic and its oil.

Be careful not to burn the garlic! We added the optional red pepper flakes as we enjoy spicy heat. Season and voila! A very easy way to create a lovely side. I didn’t shock the rabe in cold water as it kept its color well without doing so.


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