Saturday, 17 October 2009

Discover: Rapini

A new crop for us is 'Broccoli Raab', also called 'Rapini'. The variety that we grew is called 'Cima Di Rapa' (40 day strain). We planted it in the home polytunnel in September and I planted it into the allotment yesterday, putting the new micro-mess frame covering over it. 
I made the frame just a week ago, and put it over the savoy cabbages that I planted out at that time. We have a family of 7 young foxes on the allotment and they have taken to jumping on it. I have definitely lost any respect that I had for foxes!
Unlike normal broccoli, which is from the cabbage family, Broccoli Raab is related to turnip - but grows the same as broccoli (although smaller) produces delicious sprouts like a slightly spicy flavoured sprouting broccoli.
It can be useful as it comes ready when ordinary broccoli isn't available, and is great as a very early spring crop in a polytunnel. The sprouts and leaves are cooked just as broccoli, but thinnings are also excellent in salads or stirfries.

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