Spigarello (Leaf Broccoli) Riccia
A regional specialty of Puglia, virtually unknown in the US. 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. We carried flat-leaf Spigariello in the past; this is the rarer, curled version, a unique green with a flavor between broccoli and kale. You harvest the young leaves like kale instead of the florets like Broccoli or Cima di Rapa. 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. Spigariello is unique among European brassicas; it has white flowers rather than yellow, indicating that it comes from Asia, like Kailan. It has been in Italy for centuries--there is now nothing like it in Asia. I like to imagine it coming over the Silk road. Earlier than regular broccoli--25 days baby, 48 full size. 80 seeds.
This variety is also recommended for Carol Deppe's new labor-saving "Eat-All" method, detailed in The Tao of Vegetable Gardening.