By Bob Lipinski

I enjoy making this dish all year round, savoring its abundant flavors, textures, and colors. Each ingredient adds a different dimension of flavor, and together it’s magical.

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, cleaned and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • ½ teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed hot pepper
  • ¼ pound bacon, fried until crisp
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Optional: ½ cup chicken broth, heated

In an 8-quart pot, add 4-quarts of water and bring to a boil; salt; then add the broccoli rabe and cook until the stems are tender (approximately 8 to 10 to minutes). In the meantime, heat the oil and sauté the garlic until it becomes golden in color. Drain the broccoli rabe, shake off excess liquid. Pour over hot oil, mix, then add pepper, salt, and hot pepper. Toss thoroughly, then add bacon, beans and toss again. If it is too dry, add some chicken broth.

Serve hot as a side dish or allow to chill and serve as an appetizer.

Bob’s Wine Recommendation:

Whites: Ribolla Gialla (Italy); Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc

Reds: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Nero d’Avola (Italy); Shiraz, Syrah

Bob Lipinski, the author of 10 books on alcoholic beverages and food, consults and conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food, and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at OR

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