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A New Favorite Vegetable

June 8th, 2016

A few years ago I started growing broccolini and rapini and fell in love. I love that you can direct seed it very early in spring. I love that it reaches harvest very quickly. I love that it has a slightly bitter taste.
broccoli raab 1
It’s different than broccoli, though the essense is the same, it has a much more complex flavor. I cook it very simply, blanching it first in a pot of salted water for 2-3 minutes. Then I sauté it in a skillet with garlic and olive oil. Like spinach, you’ll need more than you think for each serving.
broccoli raab 2
This year I actually grew three different varieties, each one had unique characteristics (Sessantina Grossa, Spring Raab, and Happy Rich all from Johnny’s Seeds). Two had that bitter essence that you get with raab, the broccolini florets had no bitterness at all. I actually prefer the smaller leafier version with bitterness. I’m a bit fan of bitter notes when it comes to my food. I’ll continue growing these beauties to add more variety to our plates. They definitely fill that void when you want something other than salads as a vegetable and head broccoli isn’t even close to maturity.

What new vegetables have tried to grow recently?

2 Comments to “A New Favorite Vegetable”
  1. sARA on June 8, 2016 at 9:30 am

    I feel that way about bok choy this year–I started growing it last season for kimchi (it’s easier for me to grow than napa cabbages) and now we just eat it all the time. Also trying a sprouting broccoli type so I’m hoping we like that too. Funny how I’m more likely to try a new food by growing it rather than buying it :)

    Reply to sARA's comment

  2. Joan on June 9, 2016 at 9:17 am

    I bought some brocollini at the Waldoboro Farmers Market yesterday. I’m eager to try it as suggested above!

    Reply to Joan's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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