Also known as "cima di rapa" or "rapini," this robust and rich-tasting traditional Italian heirloom is a quick-growing, cool-season favorite. Broccoli Raab produces an abundance of deep green leaves and tender shoots topped with tiny bud clusters. Enjoy these full-flavored greens sautéed in olive oil and garlic as Italian food lovers have for time immemorial. Renee's Garden imports their "Sessentina" seed selection directly from Italy, so you can rely on its freshness and authenticity.
While Renee's Garden seeds are not all certified organic, they do not sell treated or GMO seeds and have signed the "Safe Seed Pledge.”
Planting & Care
Plating: Start seeds directly in the garden. In very early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, prepare a well-drained, fertile garden bed in full sun. Sow seeds 2" apart in rows of 6" - 8" apart. Cover ½" deep and keep soil evenly moist to ensure good germination. When seedlings are 3" - 4" tall, thin to stand 4" - 6" apart.
Growing: Sow Broccoli Raab in cool, early Spring weather, about the same time as you plant turnips and radishes. Consistent moisture, early thinning and an adequate supply of nitrogen will encourage the quick growth needed to produce tender, juicy shoots with plump buds. Use non-toxic B.T. (Bacillus thuringiensis) products to control caterpillar pests as necessary. Make several sowings a week apart for a continuous harvest. Sow again in late Summer for a fall crop.
Harvest & Use: Harvest both leaves and flowering stalks at 7" - 8" tall, when they are still tender and juicy and the flower buds are plump and closed. After cutting, water plants and feed with fish emulsion solution to get a second harvest in a few weeks. Enjoy the hearty flavor of these vitamin-rich greens by briefly steaming or prepare traditionally by first blanching quickly in a boiling water bath, and then sautéing them in olive oil with chopped garlic.