Turnip Top Seeds
Botanical name: Brassica rapa esculenta
The Turnip top is a vegetable with a very similar appearance to that of broccoli in that it is green and resembles a stylized sapling.
Origins and history
Although many people consider it an unripe broccoli, in reality it is a hybrid variety: in fact it was created by the Japanese company Sakata of Yokohama by crossing kai-lan (Chinese broccoli) with broccoli. As a result, the broccoletto has thinner, longer stems and smaller buds. The Japanese name is "gai lan", but it is also called "baby broccoli", "asparation", "tender stem", "bimi" or "asparations". Mann Packing Company Inc has registered "Broccoletti" as its own brand. It has a sweet flavor and is characterized by an aftertaste of asparagus and broccoli. The names "broccoli" and "broccoletto" derive from the Latin word broccus, meaning sprout. Both species have deep green wavy leaves, short stems and small immature flowers in the center (the tops). When buying these vegetables, make sure there are no spots on the leaves and tops. If the specimen is bright green, it means that it is young and tender; on the other hand, if the buds have yellow flowers, it is an old vegetable.
Nutritional and beneficial properties of Turnip tops
From a nutritional point of view, broccoletti are beneficial vegetables as they have a high content of vitamins, especially A and C: in this way, the defenses are strengthened along with the immunity of the organism.
Considering that they are winter vegetables, their consumption allows you to better face the rigors of the climate. In addition, broccoletti contains a high percentage of calcium, iron and folic acid. For this reason a regular intake is recommended for young people and pregnant women, as it strengthens the bones, stimulates the brain and is beneficial for the fetus.
Lastly, recent studies have shown how the nutritional properties of the vegetable allow to protect the body from very serious diseases such as cancer, especially breast and prostate cancer.
To avoid the risk of cooking involves the loss of many vitamins A and C, it is advisable to consume the fresh and raw broccoli, perhaps in pinzimonio.
Use of Turnip tops in the kitchen
Broccoletti has a very pleasant flavor that allows you to use this vegetable to prepare a large number of tasty recipes. All parts of the vegetable are edible, including any yellow flowers; however, if you consume the fresh and raw vegetable, it is advisable to scrape the stem and remove the outer leaves when cleaning it. This ensures that there are no hard and stringy parts. Generally the Turnip top is boiled, steamed or sautéed in a pan, so as to take on a delicate consistency. Alternatively, it can be added to other seasonal vegetables to make tasty side dishes or to add to meat, fish or rice.
Among the most popular recipes are stewed Turnip Tops, steamed chicken breast with Turnip Tops, steamed Turnip Tops, Turnip Tops and carrots, brown rice with Turnip Tops and Turnip Tops with anchovies. It can also be used as a filling for vegetable pies or for soups. For example, the Turnip Tops savory pie includes a filling based on these vegetables, ricotta, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and sesame seeds.If you want you can use the semi-wholemeal pastry. The chickpea soup with Turnip Tops is a warm winter soup made with seasonal vegetables: after having cooked and blended the chickpeas, the cream is flavored with vegetable broth and extra virgin olive oil and then croutons and Turnip Tops are added. Also very popular are the Turnip Tops and mushroom soup and first courses, such as orecchiette with cherry tomatoes and Turnip Tops and lasagna with Turnip Tops.
The appearance of the broccoletti is reminiscent of a small tree: the most widespread variety is the green one, however there is also another one which is characterized by its purplish color and is much less known.
The vegetable has properties healing similar to broccoli: for example, if it is eaten raw before a meal, it allows the body to absorb wine in a better way. The ancient Romans exploited this characteristic of broccoli during banquets.