Belcaro broccoli rabe is the bitter green for the beautiful and dear: Kenny Be's Hip Tip

Belcaro Broccoli Raab Denver County Fair Neighborhood Seed Company Kenny Be Color Packet Westword Blog Head.jpg

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...

Belcaro Broccoli Rabe Denver County Fair Neighborhood Seed Company Kenny Be Color Packet Westword Blog.jpg

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.

More from our Kenny Be/Comics archive: "Colorado highway signs warn of recreation dangers ahead: Kenny Be's Worst-Case Scenario."

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My dad used to make potatoes and broccoli rabe and his delicious recipe is gone with him, since being a improvising Italian cook there is no written recipe.  Potatoes cubed, rabe chopped, garlic slivered and I cannot come close to this simple combo that my dad turned into paradise.


I used to get this delicious green marinated in olive oil in Providence. Does anyone know where I can get some in Denver?

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