When my daughter was almost one, I took her to the pediatrician for a well-visit, and the doctor asked all the routine questions about what my daughter was eating, how she was sleeping, along with other developmental questions, etc.
I told her that I was weaning and had been giving her goat’s milk.
The pediatrician was visibly shocked, and asked “Why goat’s milk?” to which I responded, “For one thing, it’s more easily digested than cow’s milk.” So she asked me what was wrong with formula, and I gave her my opinion (basically that I preferred to give my daughter something natural vs. man-made) to which she obviously disagreed.
She then went on to tell me that goat’s milk doesn’t contain any folates, and that my daughter was the only infant in her practice who was “on goat’s milk!” So I informed this “doctor” that I was sure my daughter was also the only infant in her practice who ate rapini!
Needless to say, that was my last visit to that pediatrician.
For those of you who don’t know what rapini are or what it looks like, it’s a kind of broccoli, but more leafy and with a little sharpness in its flavor. I absolutely LOVE it. I would call it the “adult” version of regular broccoli–although, as you already know, I gave it to my children while they were still babies.
Sauteed rapini is a good introduction to the vegetable if you’ve never had it before, but be sure to eat it with some fresh, crusty bread.
- one bunch of rapini, washed and trimmed (do not remove the stalks entirely, just tips)
- 2 or 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large or 3 smaller cloves of garlic
- 2 or 3 tbsp of water
- salt, preferably Kosher or sea salt
- (optional: crushed red pepper flakes, or fresh/dried cayenne pepper)
Put the oil, garlic and pepper in a frying pan over medium high heat.
Cook until garlic starts to brown.
Add the rapini (cut in half if the bunch is really long) along with the water.
Turn the greens quickly then cover and saute for a few minutes, occasionally turning. Add salt to taste. Lower the heat, if necessary.
Don’t overcook the rapini, the stalks should still be a bit firm/crunchy when done; after 5 or 6 minutes is probably when I would first check to see if it’s ready. The best way to check is to taste a piece (and check for salt too.)
Remove from heat when it’s ready. It will look like this.
This makes a fantastic side for almost any dish.
Next time you’re serving broccoli, spinach or green beans as a side, try rapini for a change.
My daughter and I love rapini so much, we had a bowl of soup for dinner the other night, and then an entire bowl of rapini afterwards, instead of a salad (of course served with homemade Italian bread!)
I failed to mention the wonderful nutritional benefits to eating rapini! It’s full of all sorts of vitamins and minerals.
You should be able to find rapini in any large grocery store, if not, Whole Foods should definitely have it in their produce department.
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