By Julia della Croce

1 tablespoon good red wine vinegar

2 sprigs finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems and leaves

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar

1 small shallot, minced

3 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch broccoli rabe or equivalent bagged pre-washed broccoli rabe

1 cup home-made (see Cook’s Tip, below) or purchased croutons

Make the dressing first. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir in the shallot and let the mixture macerate. Set the olive oil aside.

Use a large kitchen knife to trim off any discolored tips from the very bottom of the stems. Use a paring knife to peel the thick bottom stems. Separate the stems from the tops. Cut the stems into 2-inch pieces, leaving the crowns whole. Wash the greens in abundant cold water; drain. Use pre-washed broccoli rabe as is.

Pour water into the bottom of a vegetable steamer to just below the bottom of the steamer insert. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Put the prepared broccoli rabe in the insert and cover. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes. Transfer it to a plate and let any residual cooking water drain out.

Transfer the greens to a salad bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the greens. Dribble the olive oil over it and toss the greens with the dressing. Adjust for salt and pepper. Top with the croutons and serve warm or at room temperature.

Consider also tossing this with some quinoa or wheat berries to make this a more hearty meal like item!