Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Family Birthday Traditions....Happy Birthday Lena (Rapini a l'Antoinetta)


Rapini ... a work in progress
In our household, we have "birthday months". Carlo and Sara are both January babies, and Becca and I are born in August.  We tend to have multiple celebrations throughout the month.  In order to make our special days special, we have a tradition where the birthday girl, or boy, gets to choose the meal I make on their actual birthday.  Usually, this involves some kind of meat - steak is a favourite among my clan, but some of us have vegetarian leanings. 

Allow me to introduce my sister-in-law, or as my mother used to say "Sister-In-Love", Lena.  She is married to my brother, and is celebrating a birthday today...HAPPY BIRTHDAY LENA!  So, in honour of her birthday, she got to choose today's recipe.

Lena absolutely loves my rapini (a cross between spinach and broccoli), which I have taken from my mother-in-love's vast treasure trove of Italian culinary delicacies.  This green is so delicious, so good for you, and a cinch to make.

Rapini a l'Antoinetta

Ingredients:

·         1 bunch of fresh rapini
·         2 whole, peeled cloves of garlic
·         2 to 3 tbsps of olive oil (veggie works fine)
·         Salt and pepper to taste
Method:
Cut the ends off the rapini, then cut the stalks in half.  Rinse and place in a stock pot filled with water. Bring to a boil, and drain after 1 minute.  Rinse with cool water and allow excess water to drain for 15 to 30 minutes.  If you are rushing, you can squeeze the water out of handfuls of rapini (make sure it has cooled first!). 

At this point, you can freeze the rapini for use at a later time. 

Slowly sauté rapini and garlic in oil, on low heat (3 or 4 works well), stirring occasionally and adding salt and pepper as you go along.  Remove from heat before the rapini starts to lose its bright green colour. 

Tastes great hot off the stove, or leave it to cool to room temperature.  Compliments a variety of main courses including pasta, chicken and beef dishes. B’Tayavon and Buon Appetito!