Broccoli rabe is one of those acquired tastes. The first couple times I had rabe, I was baffled as to why people chowed down on this bitter green. I found myself having it again though… and again. Now I crave the stuff, not all the time but at least a few times a year. Yes, I still find the bitterness distracting, but there is something about rabe that pulls me back. When I eat it, I feel nourished in a way other foods just don’t equal.
Last week I bought a large fresh bunch, and braised it with olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, a little organic chicken base and a splash of wine, as I typically do. It works well as a side dish or tossed into pasta dishes this way. After months of mostly gluten-free baked goods in my household (I was trialing the diet with my daughter), a crispy calzone seemed long overdue. I have to say, broccoli rabe teamed pretty well with the pungent sharp cheddar. Yes, they battle for attention, but a milder cheese would just not cut it. If you want a little more variety, I would suggest adding some roast chicken or uncured pepperoni into the mix.
Broccoli Rabe Calzone with Sharp Cheddar
*layer broccoli rabe thinly, or it will be overpowering
*lightly coat dough with olive oil, bake at 425, until crispy