You pronounce it "rob" regardless of spelling, which can also be "rabe" or "raab." Much as the stalks and flowers, not to mention taste suggest broccoli, rapini comes closer to being part of the turnip family. It was popular in Italy as well as China before becoming so in the U.S. Soon rapini will be in peak season.
Like brussel sprouts, which Unique Culinary Adventures covered in November, rapini was one of those few vegetables that I simply didn't like, even if straight from the garden. My palate always found it unpleasantly bitter and strong. Recently, however, I actually enjoyed a helping of rapini.
Thanks to the February, 2007, Esquire Magazine for publishing the recipe, which is from the renowned New York chef and cookbook owner Jimmy Bradley. Specifically it is "Jimmy Bradley's Roasted Chicken with Red-Hot Rapini." Truth be known, the chicken interested me more for---of all things---its simplicity. The rapini, however, was a perfect accompaniment. Mrs. Yi and I prepared the two together in February, and were delighted with the results.
Earlier this week, Mrs. Yi brought home some rapini and turned the responsibility of cooking it over to me. I did so according to the same Jimmy Bradley recipe only without the chicken and liked it again. I doubt that would have been the case with another preparation.