Although it vaguely resembles broccoli, Belcaro broccoli rabe is actually an Italian bitter green with a pungent, assertive flavor. Much like the neighborhood for which it is named, Belcaro broccoli rabe is considered an acquired taste -- but once acquired, the flavor of this bitter green becomes beautiful and dear... As illustrated on the Denver Neighborhood Seed Company packet shown above, Belcaro broccoli rabe celebrates the spirit of the neighborhood's Phipps mansion. Lawrence C. Phipps was a Carnegie Steel executive turned Colorado Senator who built a mansion east of Wash Park during the Great Depression in an effort to create jobs for the unemployed.
The mansion was named Belcaro, after an Italian word meaning beautiful and dear -- a perfect name for a building that provided much needed green to skilled workers during bitter times.
Fittingly, Belcaro broccoli rabe matures very quickly from seed. The green shoots have a captivating flavor that taste great when lightly sauteed with garlic and olive oil, tossed fresh in salads or slow cooked in soups.
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