Broccoli Rabe Polenta Heaven

So, the inspiration for this recipe came from an awesome blog, Pinch of Yum, but I tweaked it a little bit cause why not. I’ve been having a love affair with sautéed spinach, tomatoes and garlic lately but I really wanted to make broccoli rabe sooooo, perfect time to do so.

I thought this recipe was going to be super fast and easy because it didn’t have a ton of ingredients to it and it just seemed simple. Well, I was wrong, not horribly wrong, but wrong for sure. I think the next time I do it, I’ll have a better handle on it, but I didn’t have a clear cut plan to make this dinner and therefore my kitchen was a mess.

Little things threw me off like – it takes 30 minutes to roast tomatoes. Who knew?! I needed to blanche the rapini. Huh?! How the heck is polenta prepared? Yeah, that came in a weird tube with directions like – “add liquid of choice and microwave”. Be. More. Vague.

Vague Polenta. Turned out well though!

I was so happy I had Canon in the kitchen washing pots and pans as I finished with them and neatening up my prep space. I get so frazzled when there is just stuff EVERYWHERE.

Purple tomatoes – what!?

Back to blanching rapini. Since it’s such a bitter green, blanching helps take some of that bitterness away. I don’t know if I’ve ever had blanched or non-blanched broccoli rabe before, but in this case I was glad I blanched it. It was just bitter enough.


Finally, I had my tomatoes roasted, my rapini broccoli rabe’d and my onions caramelized, but I forgot the polenta! I followed directions from the inspiration post that said to add a chunk of it to 3 cups of water in a sauce pan. Yeah, no. It was this weird soupy mess. Maybe because it was cooked then packaged? I don’t know. Then I took to the vague directions and put some in a bowl with some milk and microwaved it, stirred, micro, stir… This worked pretty well and is what we went with!

Rabed and Caramelized.

All in all – I put in a lot of work to get this dish together but it turned out delicious! I forgot to add the goat cheese to the polenta, the #1 thing that caught my eye in the original recipe, so we sprinkled it on top and it was probably just as tasty.

Nom nom nom nom nom



3C cherry tomatoes Red pepper flakes
Olive oil Salt
Minced garlic Pepper
Head of rapini (Broccoli Rabe) Water
Polenta (or corn grits)  Milk (any kind)
Goat cheese
½ Yellow onion

Directions: Preheat oven to 425.

  1. Rinse tomatoes, pat dry and put on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roll them around in it a bit. Put in oven to roast for 30 minutes. Halfway through, turn the tomatoes.
  2. Boil a pot of water, lightly salted. Enough to cover rapini, about half pot.
  3. While water boils, chop off ends of rapini and cut remaining stalks in half.
  4. Cut yellow onion in long strips and place in pan with olive oil to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  5. Once water is boiled, drop rapini into pot for 1 minute. Keep pushing the greens down into the water.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the rapini to an ice bath. (Literally a bowl of water and ice).
  7. About 10 minutes into onions cooking, add rapini after patting dry.
  8. Add 3 heaping tablespoons (more/less to your liking) of minced garlic to onions and rapini. Optional – shake on some red pepper flakes. Remove from heat after about 5 minutes or so    .
  9. If using the same polenta mix I did, cut about 1/4 of the tube and cut into small chunks and put in a bowl. Add a little bit of milk, less than 1/4C, and microwave 30s. Mash with fork, then microwave 30s.
  10. Top polenta with roasted tomatoes, broccoli rabe and sprinkle on goat cheese. Voila!


Inspired by: Pinch of Yum Recipe here

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