For many people, Italian food is all about the tomato sauce, cheese, and meat. While there's no arguing that these elements can be delicious and satisfying, it's nice to make an effort to consume some green vegetables during your Italian restaurant visit. Doing so will increase the nutritional value of your meal. Italian eateries often have lots of green vegetables present in their dishes, and a popular one is broccoli rabe. This vegetable, which has a slightly bitter taste and plenty of important vitamins and minerals, is often available in these ways.


If you're looking for a simple way to enjoy broccoli rabe and ensure that its flavor notes come through, look for a seared broccoli rabe dish. This option is often available as a side, which can be valuable if your main course is lacking in greens. Different restaurants prepare this vegetable in different ways, but a simple and common preparation is to briefly sautee the broccoli rabe in garlic and olive oil. The garlic adds to the overall flavor, but you can still expect the unique flavor of the broccoli rabe to come through.

Baked With Pasta

Italian eateries have all sorts of baked pasta dishes. While the pasta and sauce might be the star ingredients of this fare, you'll find many of them that also include broccoli rabe. The vegetable may be mixed into the pasta or it may appear in layers. Whatever the case, you'll be increasing the nutritional value of your meal when you choose this option compared to a similar one that doesn't include broccoli rabe. If you're unsure about this vegetable's bitter taste, you'll find that the sauce of this dish minimizes the bitterness to some degree.

With White Beans

If you visit an Italian restaurant that has a lot of authentic meals on its menu, you might find a dish that combines broccoli rabe and white beans. This dish offers a lot of simplicity and can be a healthy choice if you're looking for something on the lighter side. The strong taste of the vegetable will stand out against the mildness of the white beans, but you'll get more fiber and protein from the dish than if you were to simply order sauteed broccoli rabe on its own. Visit an Italian restaurant in your area to look for these or other ways to try the unique taste and nutritional benefits of broccoli rabe.