Friday, July 17, 2009
Piracicaba Broccoli Harvest
Yesterday's harvest, 2 pounds 6 ounces of Piracicaba Broccoli. This variety of broccoli is often described as being something like a cross between heading broccoli and broccoli raab. That description seems a bit misleading to me, the appearance is like that, with a loose head and tender tasty leaves, but the flavor is nothing like the bitter raab. Can you see in the photo that the beads in the heads are larger than typical heading broccoli? They're supposed to be like that and I've picked looser heads and still found the broccoli to be tasty.
My first attraction to Piracicaba broccoli was its uniqueness, I just love to experiment with my veggies. Another thing I thought would be nice was that it was bred to do well in warm weather and I thought it would be nice to grow a variety that would be tasty in summer. Indeed, this is the first spring sown broccoli that I've been happy with.
Piracicaba is a sprouting broccoli, producing a small main head and then many side shoots. With careful picking I'm hoping to continue the broccoli harvest through the summer, although each successive harvest will be smaller.
This is actually my second Piracicaba harvest, the first was much smaller but put to good use. I blanched the heads with the top leaves, then chopped it all and sauteed it with some garlic in olive oil. I mixed in a chopped hard cooked egg and seasoned it all with some salt, pepper, and sherry vinegar. That went on top of toasts that had been smeared with a bit of a fava/ricotta spread. Good stuff!