Garlicky Sauteed Broccoli with Figs & Pine Nuts

valleyfiggrowers@alkalyne.solutionsRecipes, Side Dishes

Garlicky Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Dried Figs and Pine Nuts

Sauteed broccoli is a simple preparation that takes only a few minutes. Garlicky broccoli combined with pine nuts, and Mission Figs takes a veggie side dish up a notch.

Garlicky Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Dried Figs and Pine Nuts

For the dish, we prefer Sun-Maid and Orchard Choice California Dried Mission Figs. They add a familiar depth of sweetness. You could substitute Golden Figs with their delicate sweetness and nuttiness too.

Tips for Sauteed Broccoli

The word saute in French means to “fry quickly in a little hot fat.” The technique of sauteing is straightforward—first, warm butter or oil until shimmering. That shimmer lets you know that the temperature for the heat is where it needs to be. At this point, garlic, red pepper, and figs get added in. Now, here’s where the sauteing is especially important. Garlic can burn quickly, but that’s where keeping the garlic moving in the skillet is essential—hence, sauteing it. What you’re looking for as a visual cue is for the garlic to be golden in color and fragrant.

At this point, you add in the broccoli rabe with broth. Then, cover and cook the sauteed broccoli until it turns bright green. This takes just a few minutes. You will uncover and continue cooking the garlicky broccoli, stirring frequently, until most of broth has evaporated and the broccoli rabe is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

What to Serve with Garlicky Broccoli

Because this way of cooking broccoli is so similar to the classic preparation of the Italian spinach with pine nuts, and dried fruit, it understandably pairs well with chicken piccata or a pasta dish like cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper spaghetti) or aglio e olio (garlic spaghetti with parsley and Parmesan).

Garlicky Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Figs & Pine Nuts

Sauteed broccoli makes a tasty quick side dish. Tossed with figs and topped with pine nuts, garlicky broccoli rabe is a great way to eat more greens.
Garlicky Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Dried Figs and Pine Nuts
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs about 4 ½ ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe about 1 pound, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts toasted


  • Heat oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, dried figs, and salt in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and slightly toasted, about 1 ½ minutes.
  • Add broccoli rabe and broth; cover and cook until rabe turns bright green, about 2 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until most of broth has evaporated and rabe is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt. Serve over polenta, sprinkling individual portions with pine nuts.


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Valley Fig Growers is a proud sponsor of Cook’s Country TV.
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Recipe credit: America’s Test Kitchen.
Photo by Annelies Zijderveld

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