Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

Jan 12
2 min read
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Broccoli Raab - The False Broccoli

Broccoli Raab is a very interesting vegetable, most commonly used in Italian and Chinese Cuisine. Even though its name includes broccoli it is more closely related to mustards and turnips with bitter flavored leaves and flowers, sharper than the traditional broccoli.

You may have never heard of this plant before. That's not uncommon though as it isn't very common to North American cuisine.

Even though this vegetable is used for cooking there isn’t nearly as much information out there about it as say, tomatoes. So we are here to help you understand what it is and why you might be interested in growing it.

Broccoli Rapini isn’t it's only name. Itis recognized by several names including: Broccoli rabe, rapa, rapine, rappi, rappone, fall and spring raab, runip broccoli, taitcat, Italian or Chinese Broccoli, broccoli rape, broccoli de rabe, Italian turnip, and turnip broccoli. In Italy it is commonly known as Broccoli Asparago.

Broccoli Raab is recognized by its lack of a central head while still developing floweretts with a very similar appearance to broccoli, giving it this misleading name. Unlike the broccoli you are familiar with, Broccoli Rapini is mostly grown for the foliage which is high in vitamins A, C, K, and potassium.

It should be harvested just as the flower buds form, or as a microgreen. Harvesting as soon as the buds are forming is important as this plant will bolt quickly. For a harvest throughout the season, make successive plantings.

Planning ahead is important as these leaves do not keep for more than 1-2 weeks after being cut. The ideal seasons for these plants are fall to spring as they also favor the cooler temperatures.

To Cook Broccoli Raab:

  • Rinse
  • Cut off the bottom of the stems
  • Cut stalks crosswise into 2 inch pieces
  • Boil for 1-2 minutes
  • Saute in olive oil 3-5 minutes
  • You may also prepare it in a stir-fry or steamed
Ashleigh Smith's photo

I'm Ashleigh Smith, a native to Northern Utah. I first gained a love of gardening with my grandmother as I helped her each summer. I decided to make a career of it and have recently graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University - Idaho. My studies have focused on plant production while I also have experience in Nursery & Garden Center Operations.

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Janelle Huston AKA Garden Glam Goddess

I loved your article. It was very nice. It is always interesting to learn about the language of flowers. This is a wonderful advertisement for a gift that can be given to friends and nonromantic relationships. Perfect for “Galentine’s Day” and “Palentine’s Day.” Thank you.


I learned a lot from this article! We give our cat wheatgrass but never knew how good it was for them! I just bought some seeds to grow our own so our cat can have it all the time.

Kathie Hitt

This is amazing! I had no idea you could grow your own popping corn. Will be definitely adding to my fall gardening plan to surprise my family. Thank you!


Thank you for the helpful information! As a beginner gardener it has been tempting to start everything indoors. It’s helpful to know that it best to directly sow some crops.


Beauty berry is one of my favorites bug repelling plants. Great article.


I love nasturtiums. Great article.