Healthy Winter Side Dish

Looking for some inspiration when it comes to your vegetable accompaniments? A side of broccoli rabe makes a good counterpoint to rich hearty dishes in the Winter. And with leeks, you can never go wrong, so make sure to get this Sautéed Broccoli Rabe with Leeks on your radar for an upcoming meal. Here, bitter broccoli rabe is mellowed by the softened leeks and empowered by a hit of garlic and red pepper.

A limited number of ingredients and little in the way of prep or cooking, make this an ideal weeknight side dish. Initially what may seem like a lot of greens, actually cooks down to only about four servings so don’t cut back. The evening I made it, it was paired with two thick, bone-in pork chops that were sprinkled with adobo seasoning, pan-seared and finished in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Add the sliced leeks and some red pepper in hot oil until softened.

It took closer to 7 minutes for the leeks to soften and begin to brown.


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large, or 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, very thinly sliced and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 14 cups), rinsed and left slightly damp
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • Kosher salt to taste

After the broccoli rabe leaves have started to wilt, add the garlic and remaining red pepper, then cover and cook for another 15 minutes.


  1. In an 8-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the leek and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring often, until the leek is tender and beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli rabe, toss, and cook until the leaves have wilted, about 1 minute.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, and add the garlic and remaining pepper.
  5. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the stalks are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the butter until melted, season with salt to taste, and serve.


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