SpeciesBrassica rapa
Cultivar groupRuvo group
Broccoli raab, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy92 kJ (22 kcal)
2.85 g
Sugars0.38 g
Dietary fiber2.7 g
0.49 g
3.17 g
Vitamin A equiv.
131 μg
1573 μg
1121 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.162 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.129 mg
Niacin (B3)
1.221 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.322 mg
Vitamin B6
0.171 mg
Folate (B9)
83 μg
Vitamin C
20.2 mg
Vitamin E
1.62 mg
Vitamin K
224 μg
108 mg
2.14 mg
22 mg
0.395 mg
73 mg
196 mg
33 mg
0.77 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water92.55 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central

Rapini or broccoli rabe (/rɑːb/) is a green cruciferous vegetable, with the leaves, buds, and stems all being edible; the buds somewhat resemble broccoli, but do not form a large head. Rapini is known for its bitter taste, and is particularly associated with Mediterranean cuisine.


Native to Europe, the plant is a member of the tribe Brassiceae of the Brassicaceae (mustard family).[1] Rapini is classified scientifically as Brassica rapa var. ruvo,[1] or Brassica rapa subsp. sylvestris var. esculenta.[2][3][4] It is also known as broccoletti, broccoli raab, broccoli rabe, spring raab, and ruvo kale.[1] Turnip and bok choy are different varieties (or subspecies) of this species.


Rapini has many spiked leaves that surround clusters of green buds that resemble small heads of broccoli. Small, edible yellow flowers may be blooming among the buds.[5] Rapini is a source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.[6]

Culinary use

Lacón con grelos, a typical Galician dish: pork shoulder ham with rapini, along with steamed potatoes and a sausage

The flavor of rapini has been described as nutty, bitter, and pungent,[5] as well as almond-flavored.[7] Rapini needs little more than a trim at the base. The entire stalk is edible when young, but the base becomes more fibrous as the season advances.[8]

Rapini is widely used in the cuisine of Rome as well as Southern Italy,[7] particularly in the regions of Sicily,[9] Calabria,[10] Campania,[11] Apulia,[11][12] In Italian, rapini is called cime di rapa or broccoletti di rapa;[11] in Naples, the green is often called friarielli.[13] Within Portuguese cuisine, grelos de nabo are similar in taste and texture to broccoli rabe.[14] Rapini is also popular in the Galicia region of northwestern Spain; a rapini festival (Feira do grelo) is held in the Galician town of As Pontes every February.[15]

Rapini may be sautéed[11][16] or braised with olive oil and garlic,[7] and sometimes chili pepper and anchovy.[11][12] It may be used as an ingredient in soup,[7] served with orecchiette,[7][12] other pasta,[9] or pan-fried sausage.[10] Rapini is sometimes (but not always) blanched before being cooked further.[11]

In the United States, rapini is popular in Italian American kitchens; the D'Arrigo Brothers popularized the ingredient in the United States and gave it the name broccoli rabe.[7] Broccoli rabe is a component of some hoagies and submarine sandwiches; in Philadelphia, a popular sandwich is Italian-style roast pork with locally-made sharp provolone cheese, broccoli rabe, and peppers.[17] Rapini can also be a component of pasta dishes, especially when accompanied by Italian sausage.[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Brassica rapa (Ruvo Group)". North Carolina State University, Cooperative Extension. 2021. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  2. ^ Barbieri, G. (2008). "Glucosinolates profile of Brassica rapa L. subsp. Sylvestris L. Janch. var. esculenta Hort". Food Chemistry. 107 (4): 1687–1691. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2007.09.054. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  3. ^ Conversa, G. (2016). "Bio-physical, physiological, and nutritional aspects of ready-to-use cima di rapa (Brassica rapa L. subsp. sylvestris L. Janch. var. esculenta Hort.) as affected by conventional and organic growing systems and storage time". Scientia Horticulturae. 213 (14): 76–86. doi:10.1016/j.scienta.2016.10.021. Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  4. ^ "Erbaio fotografico". Università di Bologna - Dipartimento di scienze e tecnologie agro-alimentari. 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Rapini/Broccoli Raab". sonomamg.ucanr.edu. UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  6. ^ Broccoli Raab Nutrition Facts
  7. ^ a b c d e f Lidia Matticchio Bastianich & Tanya Bastianich Manuali, Lidia's Italy in America (Knopf, 2011), p. 127.
  8. ^ Elizabeth., Schneider (2001). Vegetables from amaranth to zucchini : the essential reference : 500 recipes and 275 photographs (1st ed.). New York: Morrow. ISBN 978-0688152604. OCLC 46394048.
  9. ^ a b Vincent Schiavelli, Papa Andrea's Sicilian Table: Recipes and Remembrances of My Grandfather (Citadel Press, rev. ed., 2001), p. 40.
  10. ^ a b Rosetta Costantino with Janet Fletcher, My Calabria: Rustic Family Cooking from Italy's Undiscovered South (W.W. Norton, 2010), p. 217.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Marcella Hazan & Victor Hazan, Ingredienti: Marcella's Guide to the Market (Scribner, 2016), p. 89.
  12. ^ a b c Rossella Rago, Recipe: Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa, Explore Parts Unknown (November 22, 2017).
  13. ^ Marlena Spieler, A Taste of Naples: Neapolitan Culture, Cuisine, and Cooking (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), p. 67.
  14. ^ David Leite, The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe's Western Coast (Clarkson Potter, 2009).
  15. ^ Ashifa Kassam, Google Translate error sees Spanish town advertise clitoris festival, The Guardian (November 3, 2015).
  16. ^ Domenica Marchetti, The Glorious Vegetables of Italy (Chronicle Books, 2013), p. 17.
  17. ^ Vegetables Illustrated: An Inspiring Guide with 700+ Kitchen-Tested Recipes (America's Test Kitchen, 2019), p. 56.
  18. ^ "Broccoli Rabe Pasta with Italian Sausage and Fennel". Familystyle Food. 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2018-09-10.

Further reading