This toasty broccoli rabe sandwich is stuffed with spicy, garlicky greens and topped with smoky vegan tahini sauce.
My husband teases me about my tendency to appear at any time, any location in the house with random and unexpected food for sampling. It's true. He could be at the computer checking email and I'll shove a spoonful of soup into his face, or upstairs shaving and I'll appear with doughnuts. Hey, a food blogger needs a taste-tester, and don't get me wrong, he's happy to fill that role.
It was a few weeks ago when I first made this sandwich, and I didn't even make it for the blog. I had some leftover broccoli rabe from another recipe (forthcoming!) and I was hungry, but not quite hungry enough to finish a whole sandwich myself, so I interrupted whatever it was he was up to at the time to push half a sandwich on him. I knew within two minutes or so, based on his enthusiasm for this delicious sandwich, that it might need to be remade and photographed for the blog. A few minutes later I finally got around to tasting my own half of the sandwich and knew this had to happen.
This sucker was good. If you like broccoli rabe, make this. (And if you don't like broccoli rabe, have you tried the stuff?) It's juicy, garlicky, hot and packed with all kinds of flavor.
I realized at some point after making and eating this that I may have subconsciously recreated a similar tasting sandwich I'd gotten years ago in Philly that was made with spinach and provolone cheese. That was an Italian Market deli sandwich, and it was cold, which is fine (and I'm sure this sammie would be good cold too), but when it's October and you have a chance to eat your garlicky greens hot off the skillet, you do just that.
This sandwich is also (perhaps optionally) hot in the spicy sense. Interestingly enough, for the first non-blog version I got a cherry pepper that was pretty potent, and for the second one, not so much. Lesson: always keep hot sauce on hand for such instances. Or just skip the pepper and spice it up with as much sauce as you'd like.
Hot Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Sandwich with Smoky Tahini Cheese Sauce
For the Sautéed Broccoli Rabe
- 1 large bunch broccoli rabe about 1 pound
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cherry pepper or substitute your favorite hot pepper, finely chopped
- 2-3 tsp. red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Smoky Tahini Cheese Sauce
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- ½ tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ½ tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
- ½ tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ tsp. liquid smoke
- about 1 tbsp. water
- 2-6 inch sandwich rolls sliced open
- hot sauce of choice optional
Make the Sautéed Broccoli Rabe
Remove any very thick stems from broccoli rabe. Coarsely chop the rest. Using whatever type of steaming apparatus you've got on hand, steam broccoli rabe until bright green and just wilted, about 3 minutes. (I love a microwave steamer for quick veggie-steaming jobs like this one. For those who are microwave-wary, a bamboo steamer works great too.)
Place oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cherry pepper. Sauté 2 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and sauté about 3 minutes more, or until desired tenderness is reached. Remove from heat and season with red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
Make the Smoky Tahini Cheese Sauce
Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl, using as much water as needed to reach desired consistency.
Stuff rolls with sautéed broccoli rabe and drizzle with tahini sauce and hot sauce, if using. Serve.
Katie (The Muffin Myth) says
Ho-lee this looks good! I'm not much for cold vegetables or salads these days, but a hot broccoli sandwich? This is calling my name! Thanks for the recipe, will be making this for sure.
Alissa Saenz says
Honestly, me neither. It got pretty chilly this week and my lunch salads just aren't doing it for me. I might be enjoying lots of hot veggie sandwiches this season. :)
Susannah (Lemon and Coconut) says
Oh Yes, this looks so good. I've never even thought of having a a kale sandwich and that tahini has totally sold it for me. Bring it on! :)
Alissa Saenz says
The tahini is the best part! When you pour it all over garlicky greens it really tastes pretty darn cheesy.
This looks so good! Can't wait to try it! :)
Alissa Saenz says
Thanks Caitlin! I hope you love it as much as I did!
Absolutely delicious!!! ❤️