Spigarello (Leaf Broccoli)
A great new vegetable for home or farmers market. Leaf Broccoli, is a wonderful rustic Italian green, that is almost unknown in the US. Easy to grow, more heat-tolerant than regular broccoli, with a sweet rich flavor in between broccoli and kale. Featured in many Southern Italian peasant dishes. Good harvested leaf by leaf, or full-size for bunching. You can also use Spigarello for baby salad leaves and smoothies, sweeter and milder than spring kale. I love vegetables like this that I can run out and grab quickly to steam, put in pasta or soup, top a pizza, or add to an omelette. 25 days baby, 48 full size. 80 seeds.
note December 2020: I have heard from one customer that this is too strong-flavored for her taste. Partly, I think that was because it was mid-summer, which will make all vegetables stronger-flavored. Also, while Liscia is sweet and mild compared to kale, it is not as bland as grocery-store broccoli or cauliflower. The same person felt that bok-choy, mizuna, and other mild Asian greens that are commonly used in spring salad mix were too strong for her as well. Basically, Brassicas all have some degree of mustardy flavor, with cauliflower on the mildest end and mustard greens on the other extreme. I would put this in the middle, between head broccoli and kale.
This variety is also recommended for Carol Deppe's new labor-saving "Eat-All" method. She plants them thickly in rich soil in spring so that they support one another and keep the leaves off the ground, clear of dirt and grit. Cutting the whole bed at once when it first matures gives a huge yield of high-nutrient greens, free of dirt, woody stems, or yellowed leaves.. She just blanches them briefly and pops them into the freezer in containers. Then all year she can microwave some as needed for meals. Only certain veggies work for this, and "Spiggy", as she calls it, is one. (Kale's stems are too woody.) Also known as Cima di Rape Spigarello or Cavolo Broccolo Spigariello.