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Milkwood Blog

Cima di Rapa

November 1, 2012 | Market Garden | 9 comments | Author:

Cima di Rapa is is a common brassica green in Italy, but not well known in Australia. Which is a shame, because it is truly delicious. And hardy. And nutritious. So we’re growing bucketloads of the stuff in the market garden. You can eat the leaves and the flowerheads in salad, or it makes a heavenly pasta with Parmesan, lemon and olive oil.

Michael has just started selling our surplus of this crop in bunches to a community food box scheme in the Blue Mouantins, so now over 60 families are learning the way of the spicy Cima… great stuff. We got our seeds from Allsun Farm, who stock ‘The Italian Gardener‘ – a really good quality, organic, non GMO seed range…


  • Matthew November 1, 2012 at 7:09 am | Reply

    Cima looks amazing. As a Blue Mountains resident we are heading to Katoomba to find some – we assume the Co-op is where it will be sold.

    Where can we get seed for Cima di Rapa?


    Matthew and Linda

    1. milkwoodkirsten November 1, 2012 at 7:57 am | Reply

      Hi Matthew, Michael’s selling it thru the Blue mountains food box co-op, which is different from the katoomba co-op – i’ll find the contact and get back to you?

      You can get seeds for this from – it’s technically a winter green, and all of ours is bolting now due to a week of 30 degrees, but it’s definitely one for the autumn/winter/spring list – just amazing with oil, onion and garlic as a simple pasta sauce -it’s sweet and spicy and has a lot of oomph…

  • Craig J. November 1, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply

    Hey Milkwood, in the US this is commonly called broccoli raab/rabe (technically the florets, not just the greens). One farm I worked on naively marketed the leaves as ‘rape greens’…never a big seller, even though we tried to explain how ‘rape’ means ‘turnip’.

    But is it really that mysterious in Australia? Isn’t this related to canola?

    1. milkwoodkirsten November 1, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply

      Yep it’s pretty mysterious over here… and yes we’ve got plenty of canola, but there you have it. Bloody yummy stuff though, so hopefully it will catch on in the small farm scene

  • Sue November 1, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply

    Does this mean that salads bolt in too a warm weather?

    1. milkwoodkirsten November 1, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply

      This particular one does, as it’s a winter green, so it bolts in warm temperatures

  • Kat Szuminska November 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply

    is the co-op you refer to Organics Win?

  • Liesel November 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply

    I had a peek at the Italian Gardener site – oooh the temptation to buy more seeds to add to the excessive number already inhabiting the seed box in the laundry – which kind of rapa are you growing at Milkwood? They stock a few varieties.

  • […] Cima di rapa – oh how we love thee! One more round and then we’ll have to dream of this till winter – it’s all bolting in the heat now. […]