Garlicky Broccoli Rabe with Almonds and Fried Capers | A Thought For Food

I attribute my tolerance for bitter foods with my early experiences eating broccoli rabe.  Served next to some chicken or tossed with pasta and cheese, it was one of the vegetables I requested the most when we went to the store. There’s something to be said for its abnormal shape, which, compared to the peas and carrots that often graced our table, seemed exotic to us.  But it was the flavor that stuck with me. Even after it was cooked in olive oil and garlic and seasoned with salt, the sharp bite remained prevalent. Those are the foods that I love… where the flavors change as you consume it. It’s why I so enjoy things like dandelion greens or arugula. Unlike other greens, these have a lasting impression.

And, yet, it’s been years since I’ve prepared broccoli rabe. It wasn’t until I opened Tara’s fabulous book, Seven Spoons, and came across her version (which paired it with a delicious bagna cauda, a buttery, garlicky, anchovy sauce) that I was inspired to pick some up. While I sat at our table, stabbing at spears of rabbini, I posted a prep shot on Instagram and Tara and I bonded over our mutual appreciation for bitter greens. It’s nice to know that we could connect over this dish. I have a feeling others could fall for this dish, even with the subtle, lingering bite.

Garlicky Broccoli Rabe with Almonds and Fried Capers | A Thought For FoodGarlicky Broccoli Rabe with Almonds and Fried Capers | A Thought For FoodGarlicky Broccoli Rabe with Almonds and Fried Capers | A Thought For FoodGarlicky Broccoli Rabe with Almonds and Fried Capers | A Thought For FoodBROCCOLI RABE-7188Garlicky Broccoli Rabe with Almonds and Fried Capers | A Thought For FoodBROCCOLI RABE-7321 copy

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  • May 11, 2015 - 9:54 am

    naomi - I love this beautiful dish and I will definitely have to check our her book. Its bound to befall of great recipes! And gorgeous photos!ReplyCancel

  • May 11, 2015 - 11:49 am

    Liren - I love the balance in this dish, Brian. The salty capers is so smart to temper the bitterness, which I don’t mind, either. Lovely!ReplyCancel

  • May 11, 2015 - 12:24 pm

    Tara O'Brady + Seven Spoons - So happy to have Brian on board with the love of bitter flavours. My book’s broccoli rabe with bagna cauda — a bit salty, sweet, and the type of food I crave.ReplyCancel

  • May 11, 2015 - 12:26 pm

    Meredith - I have a constant love affair of bitter greens — dandelion, mustard, you name it! This dish looks amazing and those capers have me wanting more!ReplyCancel

  • May 11, 2015 - 6:34 pm

    Patricia @ Grab a Plate - Ooo I love bitter greens, too. My parents always served different types when I was growing up. I imaging this tastes amazing with the capers – nice addition! Yum!ReplyCancel

  • May 11, 2015 - 9:20 pm

    Heidi @foodiecrush - Capers and garlicky bitter greens are a favorite all year round but man, what a way to ring in spring.ReplyCancel

  • May 12, 2015 - 6:57 am

    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health - i have not had broccoli rabe but i love bitter flavored foods in the idea of frying capers.ReplyCancel

  • May 12, 2015 - 8:42 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - Wow, this looks so simple and delicious. I am definitely giving this recipe a try!!ReplyCancel

  • May 13, 2015 - 10:58 am

    Paula - bell'alimento - I just want to face plant into this bowl! Swoon.ReplyCancel

  • May 16, 2015 - 7:14 am

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] garlicky broccoli rabe. i can do […]ReplyCancel

  • May 16, 2015 - 7:09 pm

    Kari - That looks delicious! It would go great with a white fish for dinner.

  • May 17, 2015 - 10:23 pm

    Meal Planning Monday | Paleo Baker - […] This Garlicky Broccoli Rabe would make a great side dish for dinner tonight […]ReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2015 - 8:17 pm

    Denise - I am so behind on blog reading due to work travels – that I have a feeling I will be loitering around here tonight. WOW. Totally digging on this recipe, and it is so “us”. To be honest, I almost licked those little salty capers. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • May 25, 2015 - 7:14 pm

    Austin - this looks delicious! despite all the fans, i’ve yet to cook broccoli rabe – and yes to salty capers all the way.ReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2015 - 10:28 am

    serwis - This is awesome recipe! I love broccoli and I really like this recipe :)ReplyCancel

herb and za

Some quick thoughts and links to start the week:

1. Two beautifully written books are a must for fans of food memoirs. Over the weekend, I finished Three Many Cooks by my friends Pam, Maggy and Sharon. It’s a gorgeous look at the role that food has played in their lives. These stories, all of them written with honesty and a generous dose of humor, have given me so much insight into their backgrounds. Similarly, Ashley Rodriguez’s book, Date Night In, shows that cooking and eating (and drinking) can strengthen one’s relationship with their partner. Each contain wonderful recipes that reflect their passion for cooking for the ones they love.

2. For some non-food related reading, I highly recommend last year’s The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace. Growing up in a predominantly white, middle-class neighborhood, my knowledge of what it was like living in the poorer areas of New Jersey came from what I saw on the news. This book paints a very detailed portrait of a young man from Orange, NJ, who would ultimately attended Yale, though it’s about so much more than that. In addition, there’s an episode of This American Life and a New York Times article that cover similar topics. Both are worth checking out.

3. This article about people allowing dogs to sleep in bed with them made me chuckle. This our life.

4. Can’t stop listening to this song. And this song.

5. We’re hooked on the new Netflix program, Chef’s Table. I’m ready to make reservations at all of these.

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  • May 4, 2015 - 9:01 am

    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking - These falafel look delicious. And thanks for the book recs! I need some new reading.ReplyCancel

  • May 4, 2015 - 12:04 pm

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - GORGEOUS falafel. Now I’m wishing we had Netflix!!!ReplyCancel

  • May 4, 2015 - 9:28 pm

    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet - We love falafel! This sounds amazing!ReplyCancel

  • May 4, 2015 - 10:46 pm

    Tieghan - Such incredible delicious looking falafel!! Totally love this post! Also, thanks for all the recommendations!!ReplyCancel

  • May 5, 2015 - 9:51 am

    Deborah - I have never made falafel at home, but this has me realizing what a tragedy that is!ReplyCancel

  • May 5, 2015 - 1:58 pm

    Helene - Hi,
    lovely recipe and lovely photo’s you have here. What camera or objectives has been used for these post?
    And what camera and objectives would you usually prefer for food photographers (and in that case upcoming food photographers)

    Love from HeleneReplyCancel

  • May 5, 2015 - 2:07 pm

    Heidi @foodiecrush - I’ve yet to see Chef’s Table, but it is on the list. As are making falafel. I’m digging your addition of zaatar. Hope you guys are well!ReplyCancel

  • May 5, 2015 - 10:22 pm

    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health - i have been wanting to watch Chef’s Table, need to get on that.ReplyCancel

  • May 6, 2015 - 6:38 pm

    Liren - Brian, how did you know I’ve been craving falafels? Seriously.

    Ok, I need to get on the Chef’s Table bandwagon. Is it the weekend yet? I can’t wait to park it in front of the tv and get started!ReplyCancel

  • May 7, 2015 - 6:25 am

    Joanne - Note to self: WATCH CHEF’S TABLE. Preferably while eating a huge bowl of these falafel. They look so good.ReplyCancel

  • May 12, 2015 - 4:00 am

    Links I Love #59Whatever Works - […] Les falafels c’est si bon, et vraiment pas (trop) compliqué à faire chez soi, voici donc une… […]ReplyCancel

  • May 12, 2015 - 2:57 pm

    Jeanette - Any substitutions for chickpea flour?ReplyCancel

  • May 13, 2015 - 11:09 am

    Paula - bell'alimento - I totally see a Falafel Waffle happening with this ; ) Blame Meredith.ReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2015 - 8:23 pm

    Denise - I will have to tried your baked version of falafel. I have tried making once by frying and it just did not work, plus I would rather not have the fat. The mint is the perfect addition – I do the same thing, I just ruin it when frying!

    We just started Chef Table – LOVE.ReplyCancel

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl | A Thought For Food

Sushi and I have been good friends for quite a long time. My first experience consuming raw fish occurred when I was a sophomore in high school. I was spending the afternoon in New York with some pals and we ended up at a food quart with lots of options. I probably got a sandwich or a burger (this was before I became pescatarian), but someone brought a small platter of sushi to the table. We all looked curiously. What’s that?  Even as a kid, I was an adventurous eater, so when she asked me if I wanted a piece, I said, “Sure!” Without thinking too much about it, I loaded it with wasabi and soy sauce (too much of both) and stuffed the whole thing in my mouth. After my sinuses stopped burning, I was able to enjoy the subtle flavors and variety of textures in that single bite. From that moment on, I was hooked.

There are other moments in my life where sushi has played an essential role. Like my relationship with Eric. When we had our initial phone conversations about where we should go for our first date, I suggested coffee or cocktails… you know, in case we didn’t hit it off.  We agreed on a place and time and that was that. But a few days later, I got a call from him asking if I ate sushi. Yes… yes I do. Good, he said. Let’s get sushi. As we sat at the table, a boat of sashimi and nigiri before us, he said, “Just so you know, if you didn’t like sushi, I was going to break things off.” And while some people might see that as being a bit dismissive, I was right there with him. I find that people who eat sushi tend to be more open-minded, especially when it comes to food. At the time, I knew I wanted a partner who was just as passionate about food as I was. I wanted to be with someone who was willing to take risks in life. When he told me that, I knew it was meant to be. (I should also add that we named our dog, who we got just before we were married, Maki. Yup… obsessed)

Needless to say, when I came across a recipe for Ahi Tuna Poke, in Sara Forte‘s striking new book, The Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl and Spoon, I was sold on making it. The whole thing came together so easily, I had to wonder why I’d never tried it before. It’s basically a giant sushi roll bowl! Say THAT a few times. Sushi roll bowl. Sushi roll bowl. You can top it with all different kinds of veggies and make it as spicy as you’d like. Sara recommends wasabi or chili flakes, but I love the chili paste we keep stocked, so I went with that. Add to that a bit of grated ginger and garlic and a drizzle of soy and sesame oil and you have a kickin’ marinade.

If I haven’t expressed how much I adore Sara’s book (and Hugh’s pictures), let me take a moment to just say this. Buy the book. Now. The photos jump off the page, the writing tells a beautiful story, and the recipes… well, I guess that’s the most important part. These are recipes that will stand the test of time. They can be made for a big dinner party or a quick weeknight meal (I’d say this poke falls under the latter). It’s a book you keep in your kitchen… there’s endless amounts of inspiration. Again… go get the book. 
Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl | A Thought For FoodAhi Tuna Poke Bowl | A Thought For Food

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl | A Thought For FoodAhi Tuna Poke Bowl | A Thought For Food

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl | A Thought For FoodAhi Tuna Poke Bowl | A Thought For Food

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl | A Thought For FoodAhi Tuna Poke Bowl | A Thought For FoodAhi Tuna Poke Bowl | A Thought For Food


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  • April 27, 2015 - 11:59 am

    Angie | Big Bear's Wife - I love sushi and I’m so glad that I got my husband into loving it too. I totally agree with you about people that eat sushi, they seem more adventuress when it comes to food. I’ve only had Ahi Tuna once in my life and after seeing this, I’m kinda kicking myself for only having it once. I’ve got to make this!ReplyCancel

  • April 27, 2015 - 12:15 pm

    naomi - This is definitely a must buy book. I just ordered it. I love their food and photography, much like yours it’s just delicious and gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • April 27, 2015 - 4:45 pm

    Jessica @ Golden Brown and Delicious - Making my own sushi has been on my bucket list for a while now. This seems like a simple, easy intro into that world. I’ll have to give this a shot!ReplyCancel

  • April 27, 2015 - 7:06 pm

    sara forte - Your pictures make it look 10x better! So beautiful. Thanks for the kind words and support, Brian. You’re the best. Hope our paths cross over fresh fish again soon 😉ReplyCancel

  • April 27, 2015 - 11:02 pm

    Tieghan - Could that tuna be any prettier?!?! Love this bowl! :)ReplyCancel

  • April 28, 2015 - 7:37 am

    bev @ bevcooks - LOVEEEEE. I’ve flipped through the book about eleventeen times and the poke bowl is at the top of the list! Now I’m a billion times more convinced I made the right decish.

    Don’t tell anyone I said decish.ReplyCancel

  • April 28, 2015 - 1:58 pm

    Rachael Cannon Hutchings - Hmmmmm, I wonder if I should buy the book? Just kidding! This looks amazing and your endorsement seals the deal!ReplyCancel

  • April 29, 2015 - 5:54 pm

    Shaina - This is beyond gorgeous, just like the book it came from.ReplyCancel

  • April 30, 2015 - 10:27 pm

    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious - Stunning…I’m a huge sushi fan :)ReplyCancel

  • May 5, 2015 - 6:02 am

    #DroolWorthy – The Kitchen Paper - […] Ahi tuna poke bowl. Literally my favorite food. FAVORITE! […]ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2015 - 1:02 pm

    How To Batch Cook for the Week | That California Style - […] Dinner:  Ahi poke bowl with brown rice […]ReplyCancel