My cousin owns and runs a farm in Washington state, Red Dog Farms. In a recent email newsletter she writes about raab, otherwise known as rabe, or rapini. She explains that a raab is the flower bud of any brassica plant. She writes: “So that means in the spring when over-wintered cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, or collards plants begin to grow tall with flower buds, we come along and bunch them up because they are so delicious! They have a similar flavor to broccoli- nutty, sweet and tender. You eat the entire stalk, perhaps cutting off the bottom inch if the stems seem tough…. Raabs come in so many varieties (we currently have five: red Russian kale, Siberian kale, green curly kale, collard, and cabbage) and there are subtle flavor variations between every one.”
Raabs also come in the human variety… a fact that might be a mysterious as the fact that there are vegetable raabs. Raab is my maiden name, and her mother’s maiden name, so it really tickles me to eat raabs. And tickles me more to paint them.
I adapted a recipe she listed, specifying the use of broccoli raab (since it’s most common in my market) and adding lemon and garlic.
Painted an etegami of the recipe — on the front is a raab and the list of the recipe’s ingredients, and on the backside are the instructions for cooking. Enjoy eating a raab or two, just don’t eat any Raabs.