Sometimes, my husband goes out to pick up dinner, and I tell him to get whatever looks good. I never really know what he’ll bring back, but he knows my taste pretty well and about 95% of the time it’s something really delicious. The other 5% of the time, I eat it and cross my fingers he won’t get that again!
A couple weeks ago, he came home with the best grilled cheese that I’d had in a long time. I immediately knew that I’d be recreating it, and that’s how this Broccoli Rabe and Provolone Grilled Cheese Sandwich came about.
You are going to love this grilled cheese! It does take a little more effort than the standard American cheese and white bread variety, but not a lot, and it’s definitely worth it.
If you’ve never cooked with broccoli rabe (sometimes called rapini), this recipe is a good place to start. Broccoli rabe has a bitter taste if not cooked properly, so don’t skip the blanching step. It makes all the difference.
Choose a bread with a firm texture and crunchy crust (I used a round Italian loaf) that will stand up to the garlicky broccoli rabe and smoky provolone. Together, these simple ingredients make one great sandwich!
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe
- 2 tsp. olive oil, plus extra for sandwich assembly
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 slices good-quality bread
- 12 oz. sliced provolone cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- When water boils, drop in broccoli rabe and cook for one minute.
- Drain broccoli rabe in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool.
- Using your hands, squeeze as much water out of the broccoli as possible.
- Roughly chop the broccoli, removing large stems.
- Heat olive oil in a medium pan.
- Saute garlic and crushed red pepper flakes in oil until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add broccoli rabe to pan and heat through.
- Remove pan from heat and season to taste with salt.
- Place 1.5 oz. of cheese on a slice of bread.
- Top cheese with a 1/4 of the broccoli rabe and then another 1.5 oz. of cheese.
- Cover cheese with another slice of bread. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Brush outside of sandwiches with a little olive oil.
- Heat a pan over medium heat.
- Place sandwiches in pan and cook on one side until golden brown.
- Flip and cook on other side until golden.
- Remove from pan and serve. Enjoy!