Courtesy Giuseppe Panzuto, chef-proprietor, Il Tegamino in Carmel
4 ounces green curry paste
1 13½ -ounce can coconut milk
2 small chicken breasts
3 cups water
Sea salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
1 pound broccoli rabe, chopped
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
½ cup shallots, crispy fried, for garnish
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish
Cut the chicken in small-sized cubes and sauté with the olive oil, minced garlic, and pinch of salt and pepper. When the chicken is lightly browned, set aside.
Place curry paste and some of the coconut cream in medium pot over medium heat and cook, stirring for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add remaining coconut milk, water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Add the broccoli rabe to the pot, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until broccoli rabe is tender. Remove from heat and add spinach, half the cilantro and the palm sugar. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Add in cooked chicken and divide among serving bowls. Top with remaining cilantro, scallions, crispy shallots and chopped peanuts, to taste.
Chef Giuseppe Panzuto, owner of Il Tegamino in the charming Court of the Golden Bough in Carmel, grew up in Naples, where a dinner of sausage and broccoli rabe is considered the city’s official dish. There it is called friarielli. He says that was also his father’s nickname because he was rather short (like the vegetable) and enjoyed growing it in the family garden. Panzuto says he loves the bitter flavor of broccoli rabe and how nutritious and exciting it is, but his customers don’t appreciate it enough: “I tell them just give up your old-fashioned spinach and kale and their boring taste and try something new.”