Everyone loves a sandwich but when it is for dinner, you would like it to be special. My Italian Cheese Steak With Broccoli Rabe, is the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time. Thinly sliced steak, caramelized onions and melted sharp provolone cheese is topped with healthy, garlicky broccoli rabe and served on a toasted Italian sandwich roll. To round out the meal and add color, I served a salad of sweet roasted red peppers.
When you look at this sandwich, you can see that it is a complete meal served inside an Italian roll. The nice thing is that the broccoli rabe is as much of a star ingredient as the steak. Broccoli rabe, raab or rapini is an Italian green whose stalks, leaves and florets have a bitter taste. Once blanched and sautéed with olive oil and garlic, the greens are no longer bitter and are a great counterpart to the rich taste of the beef.
Italian Cheese Steak Sandwich With Broccoli Rabe
Makes two large sandwiches, adjust the recipe accordingly
Sautéed Broccoli Rabe
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe
- 2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 – 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- crushed red pepper, optional
Wash the broccoli rabe, trim off the tough end of the stems and then cut into thirds. Add the greens to a pot of salted, boiling water and blanch for three minutes. Pour the greens into a colander in the sink, run under cold water and then drain well. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the garlic and cook for about a minute until it is softened. Add the well drained broccoli rabe, season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Cook until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a bowl.
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
Heat the oil in a sauté pan then add the onions and cook over low to medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes until caramelized, stirring frequently. Transfer the onions to a bowl.
- 1/2 – 3/4 lb. very thinly sliced ribeye or top sirloin steak*
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 – 3 Tbsp. oil
- caramelized onions (see recipe above)
- 4 slices of sharp provolone cheese
- sautéed broccoli rabe (see recipe above)
- 2 6-inch Italian rolls, sliced in half (I like to hollow out the bottom half a little), brushed with olive oil and toasted lightly
*Some markets sell very thinly sliced steak for Korean and Japanese steak dishes. If not, ask your butcher if he will slice meat very thinly for you to use for a steak sandwich. Be sure to let him know that you appreciate his efforts with a big “thank you”. If this is not possible, buy a steak, freeze until firm but not hard and slice as thin as you can with a very sharp knife.
Heat oil in a large sauté pan or cast-iron skillet until almost smoking. Season the steak well with salt and pepper and add the meat to the pan, in two batches if necessary, and sear very quickly on each side until brown on the outside but still rare to medium rare on the inside.
To assemble the sandwiches, divide the meat between the two roll bottoms, top with onions and the sliced cheese. Place under a broiler just long enough for the cheese to melt, remove from the broiler and top with broccoli rabe and add the top of the roll.
This cheese steak sandwich with broccoli rabe, was inspired by popular sandwiches served in cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston. Within each of those cities, you will find countless variations of a sandwich simply referred to as a “cheese steak”. Whether called a sandwich, sub or hoagie, they are sometimes prepared with pork or chicken instead of steak. They can be ordered with ingredients such as sautéed onions, peppers, mushrooms, or broccoli rabe, and then topped with sliced cheese or Cheese Whiz.
I hope you will enjoy having this Italian cheese steak sandwich topped with broccoli rabe for lunch or even your dinner…I thought it was delicious. Buon appetito!