Some weeks, everything turns out great on the food front.  Some weeks, you learn stuff.

So my latest discovery is that rapini, or broccoli rabe, or even broccoli rape, is fucking bitter.

It looks so pretty.

I ran across it a week ago and snatched it, because I’d been kind of thinking about making something with it for a while. Did I mention that it looks pretty?  With big, wide leaves, long stems, and cute little broccoli bits at the top?  Anything that looks that pretty must taste nice, right?

So I sliced up my mushroom tofu*, profoundly glad that nobody else at my house liked the stuff, because it’s divine.

And then I cut up the rapini.  I tasted a bit of it, and it was interesting.  A little more bitter than broccoli and a little wilder tasting.  I was expecting all kinds of good things.

Then I fried the tofu and rapini up with a little garlic and added mushroom soy and black vinegar, because those are the perfect things to go with mushroom tofu (to me).

I tried some of the mushroom tofu, and it was delicious.

I tried some of the rapini, and it was a little more bitter, so I added some mirin to balance it out.

I called Ray, because she’d at least agreed to try some.

By the time I’d dished it up for her, the rapini was so chokingly, gallingly bitter that we couldn’t eat it.  We picked it out.  Ray said, “Mom, that tofu is really good!”  And later, Lee said, “I stole some of your mushroom tofu.  It’s pretty good.**”

Dammit.

Apparently, you’re supposed to blanch the rapini before you put it in a dish, or else it gets really bitter.

So, dunking this stuff in boiling water for fifteen seconds is supposed to remove the bitterness?  Really?  Maybe if you dunked it in a quart of caramel, threw out the rapini, and ate the caramel, maybe that would get you something that wasn’t quite so bitter.  I’ll believe it when I taste it, buddy.

*You know, I don’t think that’s what it’s really called, because I can’t find it online. I’ll have to pick some more up. O noes.

**Unspoken:  For something that’s not bacon.