The star performer in my garden this year has been the Tenderstem Broccoli. I grew it last year, but in retrospect I must have dug it up too soon. It's only this year that I have discovered that if you leave the plants in the ground once you have harvested the "main" heads, lots more lovely succulent side-shoots appear, and then even more shoots appear from ground level. These secondary / tertiary shoots are definitely even better than the first "main" heads -- which are after all just like Calabrese (which is OK but not wildly exciting). They just seem to go on and on, producing more and more shoots. At some stage I will HAVE to dig up the plants, because I need the space for winter chicories...
The small shoots are great steamed or stir-fried. We cook them in an "asparagus kettle" - designed to cook asparagus upright, with the bases immersed in water, but with the tips above water level -- hence they get steamed instead of boiled. It is basically a tall cylindrical pan with a removable wire cage insert. I'm sure you can get one from your local kitchenware shop.To be honest, our asparagus kettle has been used a lot more for broccoli than for asparagus!
|The Asparagus kettle|
|Tenderstem re-sprouting from the base, after harvesting of the main head|
I have also had some success this year with summer cabbage. This one is called Golden Acre...
|Cabbge Golden Acre, next to Tenderstem Broccoli|
|Cabbage Golden Acre|
|Cavollo Nero - Black Tuscany|
|Seedlings of Tundra cabbage|