These days I often find myself dealing with large quantities of vegetables. While a large pot may be useful in these cases, it is not my favorite choice. Too heavy and cumbersome to deal with. I much prefer using my roasting pans. After trimming and washing the broccoli rabe, I shook it gently and laid it in my roasting pan. It was two large bunches and filled the pan almost to overflowing. I made a quick mixture of olive oil, anchovy paste, minced garlic and splash of apple cider vinegar and used it to dress the greens. I also added a little extra salt, just in case the anchovy didn't quite cut it. Then I roasted it in a 400°F oven for 30-45 minutes. I mixed it twice during the process to ensure the top layer didn't dehydrate while bottom steamed. The water clinging to leaves was enough to form a shallow layer on the bottom of the roasting pan and the rabe cooked until it was meltingly soft and tender.
I scooped out the vegetables and laid them in my bowl. Then discarded the liquid at the bottom of the pan. The rabe was so good, almost sweet with just a hint of bitterness. You got a little kick from the garlic, a hint of the floral qualities of the olive oil, and the rich rounded flavor of the anchovies to balance everything out. It was easy to make and easy to clean up. I'll definitely be making this one again.
March 2, 2005