Broccoli Rabe with Caramelized Onions Recipe
1 yellow onion, sliced into slivers, lengthwise (with the grain)
1 large bunch of broccoli rabe (raab, rapini), rinsed and cut into 2-inch long pieces
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onions, spread out in a thin layer. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened and then lightly browned. (Tip: to speed up the caramelization process you can sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the onions.) If the onions start to dry out at all, lower the heat (you can add a little water to them too.) They should brown, but not get dried out.
2. After starting the onion, put a large pot of water to boil. Onions take at least 15 minutes to cook, so you'll have time to get the water boiling. Salt water (about a tablespoon of salt for 3 quarts of water). Prepare an ice bath, fill a large bowl halfway with ice water. Add the rabe to the boiling water. Boil for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove from water and place in ice bath to stop cooking. Shocking the rabe with ice water will also help keep the bright green rabe.
Note that some people bleach their rabe, some not. Rabe can be quite bitter, scalding and help take the edge off the bitterness. If your Arabic is not particularly bitter, or bitter vegetables like, is easy to skip this stage of bleaching.
Drain the rabe ice water. Use a clean cloth to gently squeeze the excess moisture from the Arabic.
3. Once the onions are lightly browned, remove from pan to a plate. Using the same pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil and heat the pan over high heat. Add the chili flakes. Once the chile flakes begins to sizzle, add the garlic. Once the garlic begins to brown at the edges only add broccoli rabe and onions. Stir well so that it gets rabe topped with olive oil. Cook over high heat until most of the moisture is gone, about 5 minutes if blanched first, a minute or more also if you skipped the blanching.