Down at the CERES Merri Creek Market Garden deep in the heart of Coburg (yes, you read right Coburg!) farmer Vince Fitipaldi (that’s him above with Heidi Sanghvi, our farm volunteer co-ordinator) has been busy growing, among other things, a crop of rapa, a leafy Italian heirloom brassica that Vince’s cousin and the original farmer, Joe Garita, has been raising here since 1945. 

Rapa is such a staple in Italian cooking that when I asked Vince how he cooks it, he gave me a kind of non-plussed expression like I’d just asked him how to make toast.  For the record traditionally you prepare it by blanching it in boiling water until “al dente” and dress it with a little olive oil, garlic and chilli.  For more inspiration Fair Food cook, Liz Francis, is turning her tasty attention to rapa for this week’s Fair Food recipe.

This year Vince and Heidi with the help of a regular stream volunteers from Telstra and NAB have been growing a whole range of veggies – from kale and silverbeet to bok choi and snow peas. Vince reckons his patch of cousin Joe’s famous broad beans will be ready in about a month.  And speaking of broad beans, the packet of seeds we sent you in May were saved by Vince and he’s keen to know how yours are going.  So if you can send through an update, maybe even a photo and we’ll let him know.

This week you’ll find Vince’s rapa in the Fruit and Veg section of the website, rapa bunches also feature in the Large Mixed Box as well as the Gourmet and Intolerant Boxes.

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