Broccoli Rabe with Preserved Lemon

The chewy-soft-saltiness of the preserved lemons are amazing against the slight bitterness of the greens.

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Serves: 8

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Preserved Lemons from Katie Workman/ themom100.com

I finally got around to making preserved lemons!!  And yes, I’m very proud of myself.

Preserved lemons are an ingredient used most often in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking.  With preserved lemons the rind is what is used instead of the juice or pulp and the zest, having softened and essentially pickled due to its long soak in a juice and salt brine.  You should rinse the lemons well before using them in recipes and any other salt very judiciously.

This was one of the first dishes I made once my lemons were ready to use.  I adore broccoli rabe, and in my mind the chewy-soft-saltiness of the preserved lemons were going to be amazing against the slight bitterness of the greens.  Not everything turns out the way I imagine, but this time, I was right (see kids, it happens sometimes!).  This is a great holiday side dish.  And we had about a cup of it leftover which I chopped up a bit more and use to make a frittata, with a bit of crumbled sausage and some goat cheese.  It was 1 a.m. so I could get a photo, but it was pretty and it was just the right thing at the time.


  • 2 big bunches broccoli rabe (about 1 pound each)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup vegetable broth or more if needed
  • 1 preserved lemon (4 quarters), pulp discarded, skins rinsed well and diced
  • Kosher salt to taste (optional)

1. Trim the stems of the broccoli rabe and slice the bunches crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Rinse the broccoli rabe and shake the pieces until they are just barely damp.

2. Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet or wok. Add the broccoli rabe and the garlic and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes until the broccoli starts to wilt, and is nicely coated with the oil. Add the red pepper flakes and stir, then pour in the broth.  Cook, stirring every minute or two for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the broccoli rabe is tender.  Add more broth if it evaporates before the broccoli rabe is tender. 

3. Stir in the preserved lemons, and taste to see if additional salt is needed. Serve hot.

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