Purple of Sicily Cauliflower

After growing all last summer, then through the winter, these heads of cauliflower appeared the other day:

Purple of Sicily Cauliflower

It’s truly one of the prettiest cole plants I grew this past year.

It looks similar to purple sprouting broccoli, that I have been reading about on several UK blogs, but I am quite certain this is another plant. Among other things this has one large main head, and few if any side shoots.

When cooked it turns green, tastes really nice and is a lot like broccoli.

The plants were really hardy. They survived the winter without problems. While my other cole plants had problems with root maggots, these didn’t seem to. No problems with birds or other animals. I’m sure I picked off a few caterpillars, but nothing unusual.

I planted 4 plants, and got 4 perfect heads of cauliflower. This almost never happens, and was a very pleasant surprise.

18 thoughts on “Purple of Sicily Cauliflower”

  1. Hi Hanna — No, it turns green when cooked. It’s really cauliflower, but it looks and tastes a lot like broccoli after you cook it.

  2. What a fantastic looking vegetable. That would certainly make any veggie patch look retro. Did you have any other’s growing or is this the only one?

  3. Hi Stuart – Patrick’s busy in the garden, so I’m minding the blog. There were four of these. We also had some other cauliflower growing that we harvested last fall, but they were the boring white kind

  4. Last year we planted about 30 different cole plants, as a trial to see which did well. The Red Rubine sprouts that I posted about earlier and this cauliflower were among those that were the most interesting. Like Steph said there were a few other cauliflowers, but they weren’t that exciting. We got a few pieces of broccoli and some Brussel Sprouts that were nice but not that exciting. The cabbages were mostly a disappointment, except for one small head. Last year just wasn’t a very good year for cole plants for some reason.

  5. Hi Pat and Steph, did it take a long time for the Purple of Sicily Califlower to form heads? I stared mine from seed this spring and the plants are big and healthy but no sign of heads.

  6. Hi Maria,

    Yes it did! First it grew all summer, then all winter, and the heads formed the following spring.

    We tried growing it a second time, but the winter was too warm. The heads formed mid winter, and weren’t nice.

    I haven’t tried fall planting, but I think that might be the next logical thing to try.

    Vermont! Can you overwinter cole plants there?

  7. I’m not sure?? We can overwinter carrots and parsnips but we get a lot of snow and the temps can go down as low as -25 F. Brrrr

  8. I read that if you steam this sort of cauliflower rather than boil it, it keeps its purple colour.

  9. Hi Becky,

    Thanks for the comment and for stopping by!

    Alas, no, we tried that too. Even with very light steaming, it turned green. A little purplish, but still mostly green.

  10. HI. I had purple cauli grow.. I planted it last year – in the summer months and it grwe but never flowered – I was close to pulling it out but left it. I went to my veggie patch this morning to find a cauli looking exactly like your picture. It has just gone through a very wet 4 months in NZ and low temperatures of about 10 degrees . We are cooking it up for dinner today!
    Alan

  11. please give some cauliflower seeds for free
    please ….
    I am in Indonesia
    I let you know via email

  12. Hi bayu,

    I don’t have any of these seeds any more. It was 6 years ago that I last grew it. I’ll ask and see if I can find anyone else who has some seeds.

  13. Hi Jennifer,

    There are two kinds of blanching. The first is protecting the plants from the sun to reduce bitterness. The other is to submerge in boiling water. I’m not completely sure which you mean.

    In any case, I didn’t cover the plant in any way while it was growing.

    Even though this plant is called cauliflower, it’s really very similar to broccoli, and in this sense it’s not very nice raw. I think it’s best cooked somehow, blanched in water if you like. When it’s cooked, it turns green, similar to broccoli.

    Does this answer your question?

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