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1 large bunch broccoli raab (2 lbs)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 red sweet vinegar peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 or 4 strips lean salt pork, diced (about 1.5 oz - optional)
dash of hot sauce (Frank's or Tabasco)
large pinch hot red pepper flakes

Wash broccoli raab well and remove 1 inch from bottom of stems (if stems are very long and haven't been trimmed).

Hormel salt pork is available pre-sliced in strips (at Wal-Mart) which makes it easier to cut into 1/8-inch dice (use a knife or scissors). If you buy slab salt pork, first cut it into strips 1/4-inch thick, then slice into 1/8-inch cubes.

Pancetta cubes may be substituted for the salt pork, or for a low fat version of this dish, leave the pork out altogether.

Put the salt pork in a large skillet over the very lowest heat for 20 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes, add the olive oil and the onions. Increase heat and allow the onions to brown slightly. Add garlic and the thicker ends of the greens chopped into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the vinegar pepper.

Sauté over medium heat until the broccoli stems begin to tenderize, then add the greens (tops). Add more olive oil if needed. Stir in the hot pepper and hot sauce; add salt and pepper and hot pepper to season to your taste.

Add a tablespoon or so of water and scrape the bottom of the pan; bring the heat to high and cover the pan, then turn off the heat, remove from the stove and leave just until the greens are tender. (Do not overcook! They should be bright green when finished cooking).

Be careful not to add too much hot sauce; it will overpower the flavor added by the vinegar pepper. Mash the vinegar pepper into the oil as it cooks (alternatively, the vinegar pepper may be pureed in a blender with a tsp. of wine vinegar before adding).

Before serving, you may wish to add a teaspoon of good quality red wine vinegar, but this is an acquired taste and is entirely optional.

Italian Pork Raab:

This dish can be transformed from a side dish to a main dish by sautéing cubes of pork loin in the olive oil along with the salt pork until cooked through before adding the greens.

Try other greens cooked as above; Swiss Chard, beet greens, Napa Cabbage, Bok Choy, sliced Savoy cabbage and spinach all work well using this same method of preparation.

Submitted by: CM

Servings: 4

Nutrition (per serving): 350 calories, 30g total fat, 9.1mg cholesterol, 278.2mg sodium, 831.3mg potassium, 11.2g carbohydrates, 6.7g fiber, 2.7g sugar, 9.6g protein, 3.2mg iron, 93.6mg Vitamin C, 6.1g saturated fat, 3.5g polyunsaturated fat, 2.7g sugar.
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