Spring Rapini Broccoli Raab
(Brassica rapa Ruvo Group)
40 days — Rapini is also known as Broccoli Raab, Broccoletti, Broccoletto, Broccoli di Rape, Cime di Rapa, Rappi, and in Naples, Friarielli. Although related, it is not exactly the same as broccoli.
This is an early spring variety planted for a harvest during the shorter days of spring. Although they have no central head, they have many small, tasty leaves and side shoots. They actually look similar to mustard plants with many nickle-sized, green flower buds (florets).
Sow seeds indoors about six weeks prior to your last frost and transplant into the garden, in full sun, when the seedlings are larger and hardened off. Harvest tender leaves, shoots and unopened flower heads as a "cut and come again" garden vegetable.
As part of the cabbage family, it is related to, but its flavor is sharper than, broccoli. Rapini is generally used as cooking greens but can be enjoyed steamed, grilled and sautéed. A quick, favorite recipe is simply to sautéed with garlic in olive oil and season with some gourmet salt. The flavor is slightly nutty with a nice bitter component. If the flavor is too strong for you, try blanching.
Each packet contains 0.5 gram, which is about 200 seeds.