Food/ Sides, tapa-tizers + snacks/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Grilled Broccoli Rabe With Romesco

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As soon as summer hits, everyone’s chanting for the grill. Myself included. Some of the first things I christen the grill with at the first glimmer of summer are sesame-crusted ahi tuna steaks and cedar plank salmon.

But I think grilled veggies are a tad underrated. I mean I get it: no one takes an evening stroll and sticks their nose up in the air to take in the aroma of grilled zucchini wafting throughout the neighborhood—but grilled veggies are worth getting excited about! And I hope to get you stoked about this verdant bundle of grilled broccoli rabe drizzled with a rich Romesco sauce and topped with crunchy almonds.

Grilled Broccoli Rabe With Romesco.

Summer sides usually seem like an afterthought. We all prefer to throw our attention to meats and their punchy rubs and tangy sauces. And hey, we shouldn’t stop doing that! But I think our side-bound greens deserve a little more than a spritz of lemon sometimes, don’t you?

Enter Romesco sauce: creamy, dreamy, peppery, and nutty.

Romesco sauce originated in Spain. The red pepper and almond-based blend was created by fishermen in the area and was meant to be eaten with fish. In fact, my first taste of Romesco was slathered over a beautiful sea bass. I fell in love with it immediately. But why limit such a beautiful blend to fish? I knew it would pair amazingly with some seasonal greens, so I decided to drizzle it over some bright and crunchy broccoli rabe—and it was magnificent.

Grilling Broccoli Rabe.

Because broccoli rabe a mustardy kick that some may find overpowering and a little bitter, it can be toned down with a quick dip into some boiling salt water (this process is called blanching). When you roast these greens on a flatbread or blend it into a smoothie, that zingy punch is easily masked by other flavors. But when you’re grilling it solo, I suggest giving it a hot bath in salt water first, just to mellow things out.

After a good soak, you can pat these green gems dry, toss them in some olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill them to a slight char. The result should leave you with a mellowed out flavor and a tender crunch.

If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations, and you could be featured in my monthly newsletter <3

5 from 13 votes
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Grilled Broccoli Rabe With Romesco

Tender grilled broccoli rabe is smothered in a rich red pepper and almond sauce, then topped with crunchy toasted almonds. This is the side dish your summer needs!

Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

Romesco Sauce.

  • 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained
  • 14.5 oz carton or can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted; keep 3/4 cup for sauce and leave 1/4 cup for garnish. *See notes for toasting.
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1-2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Grilled Broccoli Rabe.

  • 2 bunches of broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
  • 2-4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Materials.

  • Grilling basket or bag This isn't totally necessary, but definitely recommended.

Instructions

Romesco Sauce.

  1. Place all of the ingredients (don't forget to set aside 1/4 cup of the toasted almonds for garnish) into a blender and blend until smooth. If you prefer a more textured consistency, you can pulse the ingredients until you reach your desired texture. When done, transfer your sauce to a jar or bottle and set it aside.

Grilled Broccoli Rabe.

  1. To mellow out the kick of broccoli rabe, blanch it prior to grilling it. *See notes for the blanching process.

  2. Once you've blanched your greens, dab them dry with a clean towel and set them into a large bowl. Drizzle some olive oil over your greens, hit them with some salt and pepper, and toss'em with your bare hands. (Depending on the size of the bowl you're using, you may have to do this in batches.)

  3. Let the broccoli rabe sit for about ten minutes; in the meantime, preheat your grill to medium heat.

  4. When your grill is ready, place the broccoli rabe into a grilling basket or bag. Again, depending on your materials, you might have to do this in batches; have a large clean plate or bowl ready to transfer your grilled broccoli rabe to at the grill between batches.

  5. When all of your broccoli rabe is grilled and ready, set it on a serving plate or wide and shallow serving bowl, drizzle it with the Romesco sauce, and top with the 1/4 cup of toasted almonds you left aside. Keep some extra Romesco handy at the table for extra sauciness.

Recipe Notes

*Toasting almonds: Heat a dry pan over low heat. Place your almonds into the pan and let them toast, stirring often, for about five minutes or until the almonds turn a light golden hue and become aromatic.

*Blanching broccoli rabe: Fill a pot with enough water to cover all of your greens and bring the water to a rolling boil; add kosher salt to the boiling water.

If you want to keep broccoli rabe’s strong mustardy kick, blanch the greens for ten seconds, drain them, and immerse them into an ice bath to keep them from cooking more.

If you're looking for a more mellow flavor and tender bite, cook the greens for 2-4 minutes.

Cooking time depends on your “kick” and “crunch” preference.

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 12, 2018 at 10:33 am I love the things you make with broccoli rabe! It's been one of my favorite vegetables for years, but I don't often branch out in how I prepare it. Grilling sounds fantastic, and that romesco, with the roasted peppers and almonds, must pair so perfectly. I hope they have some broccoli rabe at my market this weekend so I can make this!
  • Reply
    Sean@Diversivore
    July 10, 2018 at 2:18 pm Grilling does so many wonderful things for so many veggies, but I really think that they get passed over in favour of all the more obvious grilled protein mains. And that's a shame, because when they're done like this, grilled veggies are absolute stand-outs. Love that you used broccoli rabe here, and the almond-y romesco is just a perfect accompaniment to the whole thing. It's a wonderful dish and it deserves to be the center of any plate! Cheers.
  • Reply
    Donna
    July 9, 2018 at 10:35 pm Oh my, this will be happening in our house asap. I had to laugh out loud about going for an evening stroll and smelling veggies grilling on the bbq. I have to agree, the meat always smells better, but personally I prefer lots of grilled veggies, and this dish sounds like it is right up my alley - especially with that beautiful romesco!
  • Reply
    Sarah
    July 9, 2018 at 10:01 am I've never tried grilling greens before, and I totally want a big bowl of this right now! And I love the blanching tip- sometimes I struggle with bitter veggies. The romesco sauce looks gorgeous too! This is perfect for summer- YUM!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      July 9, 2018 at 4:46 pm I sometimes struggle with bitter veggies too! But blanching totally seems to do the trick :)
  • Reply
    Kathy McDaniel
    July 9, 2018 at 12:16 am I love grilled veggies and I actually never thought of grilling broccoli rabe What a great and delicious idea! Romesco is a such a wonderful and easy to make condiment. This is a recipe I will have to make very soon - my family loves broccoli rabe!!
  • Reply
    Amy Nash
    July 8, 2018 at 10:15 pm I love your take on grilled veggies in the summer. I've never actually grilled broccoli rabe but I'm adding it to my list now because this looks amazing. And that sauce - yum!
  • Reply
    Carmy
    July 8, 2018 at 8:33 pm I've never grilled broccoli rabe before! This is going to be a game changer with summer grilling! Also that sauce sounds absolutely perfect. I'm definitely making this over the weekend - what a great way to get greens in during a bbq!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      July 9, 2018 at 4:48 pm Yes! It's so easy to forget about those nutritious greens when we're planning grill-centric cookout menus. I'm always trying to incorporate some greens into my day somewhere.
  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 8, 2018 at 1:51 pm You're right, we need to give our veggies/sides a chance to shine and be an important part of our dishes too. I am really digging this broccoli rabe and will definitely give it a try asap!
  • Reply
    Marisa Franca
    July 8, 2018 at 12:27 pm We simply love our grilled veggies but I've never tried making broccoli rabe on it. What a great looking and sounding dish -- plus it's good for you too. Can't wait to try it. I saw that our grocery store had some fantastic looking broccoli rabe in the fresh foods - will have to pick some up.
  • Reply
    Tracy Koslicki
    July 7, 2018 at 3:05 pm Ahhh hahaah that's so true - I've definitely never said "wow can you smell those grilled veggies?!" Ha! But they are SO delicious and totally underrated. I think I want to put that romesco sauce on ALL the veggies!!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      July 9, 2018 at 4:49 pm Girrrrl. I've been slathering this sauce over ALL THE THINGS.
  • Reply
    Gloria
    July 4, 2018 at 1:36 pm Grilled veggies are the BEST (roasted are second). Honestly, I could just eat a plate of grilled veggies any night of the week. Add some feta cheese and call it dinner. Along with a nice glass of white wine too.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      July 9, 2018 at 4:49 pm Mmmm. Now I want grilled veggies for dinner :P
  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    July 4, 2018 at 9:50 am This sounds divine!! Especially because I adore broccoli rabe so very much!!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      July 9, 2018 at 4:50 pm If you adore broccoli rabe, you definitely need this bad boy in your life!
  • Reply
    Stef
    July 3, 2018 at 4:38 pm Totally agree that veggies shouldn't be an afterthought! I can make a whole meal out of grilled veggies. Got to give this recipe a try!
  • Leave a Reply

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