Hold me Bacon. Yes I love you that much. If you haven’t checked out U.S. Wellness Meats yet for their Sugar Free Pork Bacon slices, you seriously must. It’s so good though that you have to sign up for restocking notices because they sell out immediately! I’m sure I’m not hurting their business by buying 6 lbs at a time. It’s just really good okay?
So when I do have their bacon available I’m guilty of cooking everything with it. The fat renders so clear and perfect that I like to cook everything I can in it. And here’s another secret about bacon: it takes the “bite” out of some of the more “biting” dark leafy greens out there, like broccoli rabe.
I like broccoli rabe, but pickier eaters aren’t always so fond of it because it sure as heck can taste pretty “green.” Enter bacon and a few seasonings and poof! Like magic it tastes a trillion times more picky-eater-friendly. I’m not about to brag that my kids will eat this because they won’t (they will stick to regular broccoli with butter thank-you-very-much) but I think my husband ate it and that counts. Although I didn’t actually see him eat it, he claims he did and he also said it’s worth blogging. So here you go husband, maybe you’ll even make this for me one day? Can somebody forward this to him because I don’t think he opens my emails…
Simple Side Dish Recipe: Bacon Broccoli Rabe
- 1 head of broccoli rabe thick stems removed and roughly chopped into 2-3 inch sections
- fine grain sea salt
- 6 slices thick nitrate free bacon, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp pizza seasoning mine was Frontier brand
Put a med-large pot of water seasoned with fine-grain sea salt on high heat to boil
In a large saute pan, cook the bacon over med-high heat until mostly cooked (not too crisp because you will cook the broccoli rabe with it shortly)
Drain a couple of tbsp of the rendered bacon fat (I recommend saving for later use!) and set the saute pan aside
When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli rabe and cook for 1 minute. Drain in a collander and immediately rinse with cold water. Then squeeze excess moisture out with paper towels (don't go nuts with this!)
Return the saute pan with the bacon and rendered fat to med heat and add the broccoli rabe. Add the onion powder, pizza seasoning, and sea salt to taste and stir while cooking for about 5 minutes, or until the broccoli rabe and bacon are both cooked to preference. If desired or needed, add a bit more of the rendered fat from the bacon while cooking.
Serve with anything you want! Works perfectly as a side dish for anything, or you can toss with veggies noodles or spaghetti squash for a paleo "pasta" dish.
Then after you eat make your husband clean the dishes because dammit he doesn’t have to know this was easy. Look, you made bacon and that means you’re a good wife who deserves a break.
Reader Reviews & Comments
Amanda @ Slimplify Life says
Bacon always seems to make everything better. Bacon Brussels Sprouts are everything.
I am such a fan of that too and was making it a lot early on with paleo, but had to admit that brussel sprouts don’t digest so well for me 🙁 I still have them occasionally but I wish I could eat more of them.
Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy says
Sugar free bacon is a nightmare to find. Is there CANADIAN wellness meats??
There are a couple of other brands of paleo bacon but yes, most nitrate free has sugar added. In a pinch I’ve gotten Welshire farms at whole foods and honestly the amount of sugar is so small I don’t think it’s a big deal unless you’re being very strict with the whole30 or something. As long as it’s well sourced a tiny bit of sugar shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
I’ve actually never had broccoli rob but I’ve seen it on so many cooking shows. And bacon makes everything better!
Ashley @ Kickashmom.com
It’s not for everyone but I really love it! I think I was probably turned on to it by Rachel Ray back in the day.
Preach this post. haha
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
I feel like a horrible foodie because this is my first time hearing about broccoli rabe… which my computer keeps trying to autocorrect to rage 😆 And I’m impressed that your kids eat broccoli! I think I refused 90% of vegetables until I was well into my 20’s 😆
Haha to rage 🙂 It’s very big in Italian cooking I know and around where I’ve lived Italian cooking is a big thing. Good broccoli rabe has a depth of flavor that’s special I think. Broccoli is the only cooked veggie they eat and it has to be roasted and taste “buttery.” They definitely force me to sharpen my culinary skills 🙂
Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says
Looks great! I have been loving both broccoli rabe and bacon lately so I’m sure they would be a great combo together!
And I always make my husband clean the dishes after I cook:)
Oh yes then definitely try it out! And as for the cleaning it really is only fair 🙂
Christa @ Living Unbalanced says
Never tried broccoli rabe so I will definitely have to now! I usually love all the foods that picky eaters hate. I really love foods that have a weird consistency. I know, strange, but true!
You might like this then. It has to be prepared somewhat carefully for good flavor but I find that with bacon all greens just taste a lot better!
Welcome to Mommyhood says
Doesn’t bacon just make everything awesome? I never had it with broccoli rabe before though. And I just did my grocery shopping for the next week. This will be happening in my home soon though! If you don’t mind, I’d love to share it on my meal plan (for the week of 12 october though because next week’s is already set).
It totally does! As well as the fat itself which I save now. And sure, I’d love for you to share!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious says
I’ve actually never tried broccoli rabe and I should considering that I eat broccoli every single day. It would be nice to change things up a bit. Only problem is I would need to find a substitute for the bacon because I do not eat pork.
Turkey bacon would work too if you do that, although you’d have to add some olive oil or other fat to make up the difference. Broccoli rabe isn’t much like broccoli in that it’s more of a leafy green, but despite the bite I love it 🙂
There are very few vegetables that I dislike so much that I flat out refuse to eat them, but broccoli rabe is one. And so is regular broccoli.. which I know is weird because for most people it’s their favorite, but I cannot STAND it. I’ve only had broccoli rabe once and it was in a fancy restaurant, but I hated the taste so much that I actually spit it out. Haha. (And I was grown when this happened, it’s not a childhood story. Pathetic, I know.)
I can see how people sensitive to bitter tastes couldn’t do this one. I find the blanching/sauteeing combo works well plus the bacon and bacon fat improve the flavor a lot. I actually love it in restaurants and always get it if I can.
Yum! I am always looking for different side dishes to mix up our weekly meals with. I tend to reach for the traditional broccoli at the store, but think I need to look for some rabe this weekend. I’m sure it has a slightly different nutritional profile from broccoli too and will give me a some different vitamins and minerals. Thanks for this quick dish idea.
Yes, it’s more of a leafy green than broccoli like and tastes very different. Hope you enjoy it 🙂
I”m not a big fan of just steamed broccoli, but I love me some bacon. This looks like a great combo and maybe my kiddos will eat it without all the complaining. Wishful thinking, I know.
Haha! My kids don’t eat broccoli rabe but regular broccoli they actually like. Cooked veggies are tough with kids in general so I’ve mostly given up and stick to raw for them.