Broccoli rabe with ginger, apricots & cashews

Broccoli rabe & apricots

My poor boys. They have an inexplicable 6-day weekend, and the weather is ridiculous. Round-the-clock thunderstorms. When it’s not actually storming, it’s gloomy and threatening, with thick damp air that sticks to your skin, and heavy glowering clouds that seem to crawl inside your head. There’s a perpetual twilight glow. And they don’t care! They’re in their pjs! They had flat pancakes for breakfast! They have a giant pile of legos dumped on the living room floor, they have Star Wars guys, they have each other. This morning they’ve been dividing the universe alphabetically. Malcolm gets Mondays, magic, and medusa, and Isaac gets iron and imagination.

We seem to be heading into too-hot-to-cook weather. I’m not ready! Luckily, this is our first week of CSA season (oh boy oh boy oh boy!). And we got a box full of greens! Kale, spinach, chard!! I LOVE GREEEEEEEEENS!! And the nice thing about them is that you can cook them quickly, and eat them when they’re not piping hot. As it happens, I’d bought lots of greens last week, from the grocery store. (I didn’t buy lettuce, I was expecting a box full of lots and lots of lettuce. Guess what? No lettuce! Lettuces don’t like hail storms, apparently!) So I have a whole lot of greens to cook my way through. It’s a pleasant sort of anxiety.

I’m on record as saying that my favorite way to eat greens is with garlic, raisins and pine nuts. I’ve made it into pies and tarts, and pesto, using a variety of (cheaper) nuts. Here’s another variation. The apricots provide the tart-sweet fruitiness – they’re more assertive than raisins, and broccoli rabe is more assertive than chard or spinach, so it all works out nicely. Red pepper flakes and ginger add a little heat, and fresh basil adds – well nothing’s better than fresh basil! This is a quick and tasty dish, and it would make a meal, tossed with pasta, or on top of basmati rice.

Here’s Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass with Bittersweet Samba, accompanied by the oddest little film, which, according to the youTube poster, was filmed by Robert Altman!

1 medium-sized bunch of broccoli rabe, large stems removed
2 cups baby spinach, washed and chopped
1/2 cup parsley, washed and chopped
olive oil
1/2 t red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/2 inch cube ginger, grated or minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T butter
dash balsamic
1/2 cup apricots, chopped
1/2 cup roasted cashews, chopped
big handful fresh basil, chopped
salt, pepper

Boil a medium-sized pot of salted water. Add the broccoli rabe and cook till it’s as done as you like it. I tend to cook it a little longer than other greens. I like when it gets a little melt-y. Drain, rinse in cool water, and roughly chop.

Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook till the garlic just starts to brown. Add the apricots, stir to cook and coat. Add all of the greens and parsley. Cook till the spinach and parsley are a bit wilted. Add a bit of butter and a splash of balsamic. Season with salt and pepper. Turn out onto a platter, stir in the basil, and sprinkle the cashews over the top.

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