You may notice my father, whose name is Rocco, is always making fun of all our vegan recipes in the comments section. But what he doesn’t realize is my affinity for vegetables is actually his fault.

Sicilian cuisine is mostly a peasant food and back in the day meat was for rich folks. A Sicilian dish called Caponata, which references capons (castrated roosters) is actually a delicious and totally vegan sweet and sour eggplant stew. Thank God because I never want to eat a castrated rooster.

I grew up on fava beans and cauliflower lentil stew. As a child, my father packed Broccoli Rabe sandwiches in my school lunch plastic bag, which was a hard one to explain to the PB&J crowd.

So it’s his doing that I love vegan food. Sicilians are the original vegans, before that was cool.

Broccoli Rabe Sandwich

Cut off the woody ends and soak a bunch of Broccoli Rabe in water (this removes any sand and dirt)
In a pan, sautee garlic and peperoncino (hot red pepper flakes) in extra virgin olive oil
Add the Broccoli Rabe – it can be wet because the water helps it steam
Season with salt and pepper and drizzle more olive oil on top
Put a lid on the pan so the Broccoli Rabe steams
Turn the heat off once it is soft and let it cool a bit
Pile it high onto semolina or any kind of Italian bread
It’s best when the bread is soaking with olive oil

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