Broccoli rabe with garlic, anchovies, and crushed red chilis

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Broccoli rabe with garlic, anchovies, and crushed red chilis
The Farmers’ Market Update used to go to 5,200 people, mostly in California. Two weeks ago, the Northern California Kaiser Permanente members’ e-newsletter mentioned the Farmers' Market Update and Recipe of the Week and since then, about 2,000 additional members have signed up. I welcome all of you newcomers! Hundreds of you sent messages with your subscription requests. I read them all. Just like me, many of you are looking for easy, fun, tasty and healthy ways to eat. There were many requests for information about diets and recipes for specific needs, e.g. diabetes and salt restriction. Many of you wanted to know when the farmers' markets take place at your Kaiser Permanente facility. Others wanted ethnic recipes, vegetables-only recipes or recipes for 1 to 2 people to eliminate the need to eat leftovers. I loved the offers to send favorite recipes for me to taste test in my home kitchen and possibly publish in this newsletter in the future. The original purpose of this weekly newsletter was to celebrate the establishment of the farmers' market at the Oakland Medical Center in May, 2003 and to advertise what was fresh at the market any given week. It has grown to include news about the spread of farmers' markets throughout Kaiser Permanente nationally, the support of small family farms and sustainable agriculture, cooking tips and some nutrition information. As Kaiser Permanente Online has a wealth of resources to help keep you healthy, rather than trying to answer all of your questions in this humble newsletter, I will be providing links to the answers to some of your frequently asked questions (FAQs) and "not-so-FAQs”. In keeping with the theme of learning to cook new foods, I bought two bunches of broccoli rabe from Happy Boys Farm at Kaiser Permanente Oakland's Friday Fresh Farmers' Market. Perhaps someone will write me and explain why "broccoli" is in its name when it is more closely related to a turnip. Anyway, I made a stir fry with it and it was fantastic. These greens are full of vitamins and distinctive flavor. Cooked with garlic, optional anchovies, and crushed red chilis, it makes a great side dish for a milder flavored main course. Dark green vegetables are very nutritious and this one tastes really good too.

Servings: 4-6


  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe, about 1-1/2 lbs
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4”-long squiggle of anchovy paste or 4 anchovies, minced
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper


Bring a pot of lightly-salted water to a boil. While the water is heating up, chop off the toughest and thickest stems from the broccoli rabe. Using a large knife, cut the bunches crosswise in 2 or 3 places. There will still be many medium and small size stems along with the leaves. Cook the greens in the boiling water for 4 minutes, then drain in a colander. When there are about 5 minutes left until dinner time and your other dishes are perfectly organized, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Sauté the garlic, optional anchovies, and crushed red chilis for about one minute. Toss this with the drained broccoli rabe for a few minutes until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve while it's hot.