Let me muse for a moment on Spring Fever, as it storms into town with the first throb of thunder this year and insists on staying, squirreling its way up through the soil in defiant baby green shoots. It might sound as if I’m complaining. Trust me, I’m not. In fact, I’m delirious with the bug!

If we deconstruct this coy phrase, Spring Fever, we learn that Spring (verb) means “to move or jump suddenly upward or forward; to move rapidly or suddenly from a constrained position by or as if by the action of a spring. Fever (noun) means “a high body temperature or state of nervous excitement.” Is this not a fair description, to a T?

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This might help you forgive me for posting a wee bit less in the recent days of sunshine. My soul and irritatingly pasty skin have been recharging. This might explain why I insisted on dipping into the Farmers Market on Saturday morning, despite needing to be somewhere else at the exact time it opened. Which is why I only made out with a bunch of broccoli rabe and a sack of mixed greens (my wallet thanked me profusely).

Most importantly, this is why I am eager to fashion a simple, simple dish that will let me wrap my mouth around every single bite of fresh, summer-signaling greens!

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Spring Broccoli Rabe & Andouille Sausage

Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil - 3 tablespoons
  • Garlic - 2 tablespoons, coarsely chopped
  • Andouille sausages (optional) - 2 andouille sausages, 1/4-inch slices
  • Brocolli rabe - 1 bunch
  • Sea salt - 1 teaspoon
  • Garnish:
  • Black pepper - Freshly ground
  • Extra virgin olive oil - Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Discard the bottom 4 inches of broccoli rabe stem (it tends to be very stringy and woody). Cut the rest of the rabe coarsely and rinse in water. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. You want to heat olive oil "slow and low."
  3. Add the garlic and let it sizzle very lightly, infusing the olive oil with flavor.
  4. If you are using andouille sausage, add them now and saute until they begin to brown.
  5. Add the rabe and toss the ingredients together. Cover the pan with a lid and let the rabe and sausage simmer for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and until the rabe leaves are wilted.
  6. Add the salt and toss again.
  7. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and another drizzle of olive oil.
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