Broccoli rabe can be had, but it's expensive. The wholesale price has nearly doubled, ranging from $50 to nearly $70 for a 20-pound case; it's usually about $32-35, reports Jimmy Iovine of Iovine Brothers Produce in the Reading Terminal Market. He isn't carrying it at all right now, because the wholesale price translates to a retail price of $3.99-$4.99 a bunch. It usually retails for $1.99-$2.99.
Joe Nicolosi of Dinic's at said he couldn't obtain rabe at all for a day or two, and now he's paying upwards of $65 a case. Joe tried red Swiss chard as a substitute, which he said worked well, though it's more sweet than the slightly bitter rabe. But since spinach is also dear these days, along with other vegetable crops from Southern California's Imperial Valley and Arizona growing areas, the chard may have to do. Although he hasn't tried it yet, Joe is thinking about cooking chopped Brussels sprouts with pancetta as another roast pork topping alternative.