Rapini has many spiked leaves that surround a green bud which looks very similar to a small head of broccoli. There may be small yellow flowers blooming from the buds, which are edible.
The flavor of rapini has been described as nutty, bitter, and pungent.
The vegetable probably descends from a wild herb, a relative of the turnip, that grew either in China or the Mediterranean region. It is similar in shape to the Chinese Brassica oleracea cultivar called kai-lan.
Rapini is now grown throughout the world. It is available all year long, but its peak season is fall to spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
A common preparation involves sauteing it with garlic over low heat for 10 - 15 minutes.