I’m not sure where my fascination with the color purple originated, but if I can find a purple vegetable I like, I’m planting it! It could be my body’s natural instinct to purge toxins by ingesting certain varieties of purple fruits and vegetables highly concentrated with antioxidants. It could also be that I love the color of blooming artichokes, purple stemmed ragged jack kale, earth covered crimson violet sweet potatoes, and deep mauve corn silks. Although not a fan of cruciferous vegetables, one of my garden favorites, for taste and looks, is our Purple of Sicily Cauliflower.
The Purple of Sicily has a very mild and sweet flavor, unlike most varieties I’ve had. Thick sturdy root stalks protrude upright above the soil, fanning out rich green foliage revealing tightly knit clusters of bright purple florets. The floret stems are white with a slightly green tint, and a head weighs 1-3 pounds on average. The process of sowing to harvest takes about three months. For Southern California, about Zone 10, the optimum time to sow would be October through March.
This variety’s tenderness and fine flavor is perfect for an interesting mashed potato substitute, pickling, frying in tempura, raw, roasted, stewed, steamed, and more. Its entirety is edible and it also freezes well (my advice is to cut if up and freeze it dry in a gallon sized Ziploc to use as much as you need at a time).
Autumn is fast approaching, so think about getting your purple on!