Thursday, 19 July 2007

Cima di Rapa or whatever it's called

I can't resist purchasing veggies seeds when they are something I've not tried before. Sometimes this doesn't end well. Last year I grew chicory for the first time. Not knowing they have incredibly long tap-roots I had a wee bit of trouble later removing those we didn't eat. I found this packet somewhere locally, probably one of the nearby Italian supermarkets.

I'm not quite sure what to call this plant, I've seen it referred to as rapini, broccoli rabe or raab, turnip greens or turnip top. I noticed someone mentioning that although it has a habit similar to broccoli, it is botanically closer to the turnip. Make of that what you will. Anyway it was a cinch to grow, I put the seeds in just before we got that bit of rain and thinned them out when it was obvious that I'd oversown. That was pretty much it. On the packet it claims it can be grown throughout the year, with best results with autumn sowings.

Two months later it was ready to eat. I noticed on the seed packet the whole plant can be eaten, I just trimmed off the bits that looked like broccoli. It tastes somewhat bitter and mustardy, nothing like broccoli, and the larger leaves seemed even stronger. I found that steamed, it was somewhat too pungent for my liking, but quickly boiled in salted water it was delicious. I haven't tried this yet, but the idea of eating it with pasta and anchovies really appeals. Now I just have to find out how to get my four year old to eat it; and work out what to call it....

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