Fast forward to adulthood - I can now appreciate the double sensory pleasure of the aromas and the taste. And 'tis the season for such indulgences. I picked up beautiful bunches of broccoli rabe and bitter greens from both of the CSA's to which I belong (www.indianlinefarm.com and www.farmgirlfarm.com).
Here's a quick and easy way to whip up those flavors and aromas yourself:
Broccoli Rabe or Bitter Greens
1-2 T Olive Oil
2-3 Cloves of Chopped Garlic
Pinch Red Hot Pepper Flakes
2-3 Bunches of Broccoli Rabe or 1/2-3/4 lb Bitter Greens
For the Broccoli rabe, my Mom always stripped the leaves and flowers from the stem as she found it hastens the steaming time (and the stems are often tough.)
Wash thoroughly but it is not necessary to dry. Place sauce pan on medium flame, heat the olive oil, add garlic until lightly golden (watch not to burn the garlic), then add your pinch of red pepper flakes and then the greens (broccoli rabe or bitter greens). Stir gently and place lid on pan to steam for 15-20 minutes. If it looks too dry, add a little water so it steams nicely.
Serve with a couple of nice pieces of italian bread and enjoy!