«Romanesco» - Organic Cauliflower Seeds
This has to be one of the most beautiful vegetables around - a true ‘Objet d'Art’. Each complex, symmetrical head features whorls of pointy, chartreuse green ‘florets’, in a complex, bewitching design, an amazing example of phyllotaxis.
Organic Cauliflower «Romanesco»This has to be one of the most beautiful vegetables around - a true ‘Objet d'Art’. Each complex, symmetrical head features whorls of pointy, chartreuse green ‘florets’, in a complex, bewitching design, an amazing example of phyllotaxis - the fractal patterning that can appear in nature.
An old Italian vegetable variety that's been rediscovered, Romanesco cauliflower is often called romanesco broccoli, calabrese romanesco or minaret especially in Italian recipes. It is sometimes called broccoflower, a name is also applied to green-curded cauliflower cultivars. It is also known as coral broccoli.
Romanesco is delicious with a flavour is somewhere between broccoli and cauliflower, with a sweet nuttiness that is bereft of the slightly bitter edge cauliflower can have, children tend to like it for this very reason. If you cook it whole, dunking it in boiling water for a few minutes until tender, it's one of the most impressive greens you can serve.
SowSow thinly, 2cm (¾in) deep in a seedbed. Final rows should be 15cm (6in) apart for mini caulis or around 60cm (24in) for larger cultivars. Thin the seedlings to a final spacing of 15cm (6in) apart for mini caulis or 60cm (24in) for larger cultivars. However, best results come from sowing in cell trays using any good multi-purpose potting compost. As cauliflowers mature in a rush, avoid raising too many plants at a time.
The main sowing period is March to May, although early crops can be achieved by sowing under glass in January/February or sowing cultivars in the autumn in a glasshouse or coldframe.
GrowCauliflowers do best in very fertile soil, and digging in a bucketful of well-rotted manure or organic matter before planting, and raking in 150g per sq m (5oz per sq yd) of Growmore or other general purpose fertiliser, will help growth. Firm the soil by treading before planting.
If growth is checked, at any time during growth, they produce small, deformed heads. To avoid problems, water plants well the day before transplanting and make a hole deep enough to hold the plant with the lowest leaves at ground level. Fill this hole repeatedly with water. This will fill the hole with soil and ensure the plant is sitting in a large area of moist soil. Firm the soil very well against the roots.
Space summer and autumn cropping types 60cm (2ft) apart and winter cultivars around 75cm (2.5ft) apart; spacing of 30-45cm (12-18in) apart, provides mini, 'one person' curds. Water well in dry weather, watering every 10 days, and apply sufficient water to thoroughly wet the root zone. Once the plants are growing well, add 30g (1oz) per square metre of high nitrogen fertiliser such as sulphate of ammonia to boost growth and curd formation.
HarvestingStart cutting when the heads are firm; once the florets start to separate, it is too late.