Peter Norris

May 8, 2016

Here, where the stocks are being emptied and the kitchen garden does not yet offer many other options than eating spinach every day (+ the loose), you will be completely experienced when the first rapini can be harvested for a classic Italian-inspired spring dish. In the raw state, however, it is quite bitter, so it must first be boiled and chopped lightly before its somewhat sharp taste hits the pasta.

It can be sown indoors in late February and planted a month later in a manure bench or under plastic. Autumn starts sometime in May, and in the summer heat we have now, it can unfortunately suddenly go very fast. If you do not harvest in time, the shoots (which look like broccoli, but are something completely different) can quickly turn into a yellow flower bloom just while sitting for Sunday coffee at mother-in-law's. Rapini is a typical spring and autumn crop that does best in slightly cooler weather - in heat and drought, the culture is quickly over.

The top 10-15 cm of the flower shoots are harvested, after which new (but smaller) shoots emerge from the leaf corners further down. On the plants I have harvested today, the new shoots had already emerged - and if the current weather continues, it will all be over in a couple of weeks.