Most people I know are familiar with broccoli. but many have not heard of broccoli rabe (unless you are of Italian descent). Broccoli rabe is a leafy green vegetable, that has 6-9 inch stalks and scattered clusters of broccoli- like buds at the top. It is related to both the cabbage and turnip family and the greens have a pungent, bitter flavor. It is also known as rapini, Brocoletti di rape, Italian broccoli, gai lan, and rabe.
Most Americans are not particularly fond of this vegetable due to its bitter taste, prompting the main supplier of broccoli rabe here in North America to market this as the new “cool” vegetable (much like kale has become fashionable in recent years). Their target market are millennials who have not grown up eating this. This vegetable is packed with vitamins A, K and folate (B9) as well as calcium, manganese, potassium, and non heme iron.
If you have never tried this vegetable, I would encourage you to try it blanched in water, then sautéed in garlic, and olive oil with a little crushed red pepper added if you like. Toss it in a pasta dish, or chop it and add it to a vegetable soup in place of another green such as kale or escarole.