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In My San Diego Garden & Kitchen 2-21-16

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If you’ve read my blog for more than a few months you’ll know that I am enchanted with anything magenta in the garden. Red kohlrabi was added in recent years more for the color than the other virtues of the vegetable. Magenta flowers and foliage syncopate my perennial gardens throughout the year.

And now the ‘Graffiti’ purple cauliflower, harvest begins in my garden. The lighting in the photo above doesn’t capture the intensity of the color but the FEDCO Seeds catalog description attempts to:

As if aliens had landed in the cauliflower patch, the brilliant—almost psychedelic—purple of these good-sized heads is decidedly other-worldly and will draw customers to your market display. Vibrant Graffiti boasts a true cauliflower head on large plants with dark green leaves. Resists summer heat and performs even in drought, but very slow to head up in cool weather…Day-glo florets make delightful crudités, a delicious cooked vegetable or colorful kimchi. The color fades to bluish-purple when cooked, but can be preserved by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the cooking water.

The purple pigment in the cauliflower is more stable in the acidic environment created by lemon juice or vinegar. Recollections from my food science course in college suggest, however that some vitamins may be destroyed by the addition of acid to the cooking water. So I eat the purple cauliflower raw to enjoy the intense magenta color.

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The first round of ‘Premium Crop’ broccoli finished this week. It will be another week or two before the second planting will be ready to harvest. I’m hoping the upcoming warm weather won’t interfere with the growth to their usual impressive size.

I didn’t capture all the Tuscan kale that was doled out to visiting family members or used for salads here. Ditto for the navel oranges  The kale plants seem undaunted and continue to produce large, unblemished leaves. 

Have I mentioned recently how much I love the winter garden?

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Snow pea blossoms showed up this week. Maybe there will be the lovely yellow edible-podded peas next week.

Check back this week for more magenta moments from my garden. In the meantime head over to Our Happy Acres to see what other gardeners around the world are harvesting this week.

Magenta Madness-2

Scenes from the Winter Garden 2-18-16