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