Spigarello aka Spigariello is an old Italian heirloom leafy green that I grew last year. Some refer to it as broccoli rabe and others call it “leaf broccoli.” Both descriptions are apt. I’d put it somewhere between kale and broccoli.
The plant grows just like kale, but produces small broccoli-like florets late in the season. Every part of the plant is edible and tastes like broccoli. The new growth is tender enough to eat raw right off the plant. I sometimes munched on it as I worked.
We grew 4 plants in various gardens: 2 in pots on the roof, 1 in the community garden, and the forth at the yardshare. The plant at the yardshare was monstrous, probably the result of the heaps of duck manure that had been added to the bed. The location was on the shady side, and it was one of the most productive and happiest plants we grew in that spot (as was the kale. Also monstrous). The plant over at the community garden was also quite large, but it produced silvery leaves, the result, I suspect of a place in the sun. The roof plants did okay, but the 1-foot deep pots didn’t seem to be enough. I’d go larger in the future.
Overall, this plant turned out to be a powerhouse and produced a ton of food that lasted for months and months. Along with kale, it was one of the last greens we were harvesting from at the end of the season. I very much wanted to grow spigarello again this year, but unfortunately our plants did not produce seed (probably from all of the picking).
Then, yesterday afternoon, I took a walk over to my favourite Italian grocer to look at the seed rack, and came across something called cavolo broccolo ‘A Getti di Napoli.’ It is described as “cut-and-come-again’ variety with lance-like leaves. This morning, while looking it up I made an amazing discovery — ‘A Getti di Napoli’ and Spigarello are one and the same!