crispy, bitter, gooey: broccoli rabe panini with mozzarella

broccoli rabe panini with mozzarella | everybody likes sandwiches

I love broccoli rabe (which also goes by the name “rapini”) a whole heck of a lot. It’s a bitter green so if you’re scared off by bitterness, this might not be the vegetable for you. But if you embrace bitterness, like I do, well, I think you’ve found yourself a new vegetable to love. When I start to see it in the spring markets, I buy it weekly, usually cooking it up with sausage and pasta for a nice easy dinner. But when I was flipping through The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, I discovered a new way to love my favorite vegetable. Enter the broccoli rabe panini.

This is a great recipe to make for a casual dinner party because you can prep all of the ingredients beforehand and then put the sandwiches together at the last minute. Rinse and primp the broccoli rabe – I use the leaves, stems and all. But you might want to trim away some of the larger stems, but I usually don’t bother. Make the caramelized onions and then saute the greens. When it’s time to eat, just assemble and press your sandwiches! It’s a party win!

broccoli rabe panini with mozzarella | everybody likes sandwiches

Plus, if you don’t have a panini press, you can entertain your guests with your goofy cast iron skillet + tea kettle combo press! Let the good times roll!

broccoli rabe panini with mozzarella | everybody likes sandwiches

My homemade press worked like a charm. I got grill marks that look totally pro and my sandwich was crispy, gooey and hella delicious. The sandwiches are pretty filling so you can save half for lunch the next day to heat up in the oven. Yum.

broccoli rabe panini with mozzarella | everybody likes sandwiches

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11 comments to “crispy, bitter, gooey: broccoli rabe panini with mozzarella”

  1. 1
    Flora.   May 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Great sandwich!
    Plus, thanks for showing your “homemade” press method. Seems to work like a charm. :)

  2. 2
    Joanne (Bijoux)   May 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve been buying rapini often over the past few months but never did I think to stuff it into a panini sandwich. This looks delicious(!) and what a smart way to create the perfect grill marks! You could also make a killer grilled cheese sandwich with the skillet/kettle method :)

  3. 3
    Joanne   May 4, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Mmm broccoli rabe is one of my favorites and I especially love it paired with melty cheese! Great sandwiches!

  4. 4
    Charlotte   May 4, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Hmm I don’t have a panini press and love this idea, thanks!

  5. 5
    Sarah   May 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Crispy bread, with gooey cheese and something bitter or sweet or both is a recipe for sandwich heaven. ergo, this sandwich = heaven.

  6. 6
    alana @ the food   May 6, 2013 at 5:57 am

    is it just me, or does EVERY SINGLE RECIPE in the smitten kitchen cookbook seem like a winner?!
    this one included! good show!

  7. 7
    kickpleat   May 6, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Thanks Flora, the press works wonderfully, thank you!

    Bijoux, I never thought about it either. It works incredibly well!

    Joanne, thank you!

    Who needs a panini press, Charlotte! Enjoy :)

    Thank you, Sarah! It is heavenly!

    Alana, I’ve made 2 recipes from the book so far, and both were delicious! It’s a great book.

  8. 8
    Jess   May 7, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Love the “panini press” – those sandwiches look pressed to perfection!

  9. 9
    Nicole   May 8, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I love the sound of this sandwich! It looks really flavorful. I was just thinking I need to get myself some broccoli rabe while it’s around. Your panini press hack is great! I like the idea of a panini party, too. You’re the party idea queen lately!

  10. 10
    Christy@SweetandSavoring   May 8, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Ha, as soon as I saw the picture and title I said to myself ‘That’s in the Smitten Kitchen book!’ :) It’s one of the her recipes that I haven’t made yet, but I’m dying to try. You’ve just given me the motivation!

  11. 11
    kickpleat   May 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Thanks Jess! It worked out really well.

    Nicole, it was a pretty fun gathering and my panini press hack garnered some chuckles, but it worked out really well :)

    Christy, it’s a great one! I hope you give it a go.

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