RECIPE: Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) with Toasted Chickpeas

 photo credit nancy s. mure

photo credit nancy s. mure

Aside from pasta, Italy is all about the vegetables. This is likely the reason Italy has been ranked as the second healthiest country in the world. That being said, whenever I want a little taste of "The Mother Land" as I call it, I make this easy and satisfying dish, which never disappoints. To call it a side-dish would be an insult. 

I would not be exaggerating if told you that eating rapini with chickpeas could greatly improve your health. Both rapini and chickpeas are packed with amazing nourishment.

Like most plant based meals, this dish is prepared with simple ingredients. Rapini (popularly known as Broccoli Rabe) and garbanzo beans (popularly called chick peas).

Rapini is an impressive source of fiber, as well as Vitamins A, C, K, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. Studies have shown that the cancer preventing glucosinolate compounds in rapini are particularly effective against stomach, lung, and colon cancers. Promising research hints at protective effects against breast and prostate cancers as well.

Notably, garbanzo beans outrank rapini nutritionally. The humble chick pea is an astounding source of Vitamins A, C, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper and thyroid-healthy selenium. For this meal, we're going to combine the two for an extra nutritional punch! 


  • 1-2 bunches broccoli rabe (bottoms trimmed) flower stems only.
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed or sliced.
  • 1 carton organic garbanzo beans (whole foods) drained and rinsed.
  • 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil (Trader Joes)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Himalayan pink salt for seasoning (Trader Joes)


Heat a hot cast iron pan, add coconut oil. Add the chickpeas season with salt and cover until the peas are toasted. You will hear the chick peas will pop. This is ok.  Keep the pan covered. Shake the pan until the peas are golden on all sides.

Chop your broccoli rabe into two-inch pieces and add to the pan. Season again with a pinch of pink salt. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover and cook until the rapini is tender.