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Purple Broccoli picture Magnify picture

Purple Broccoli

Inventory, lb : 0
This item was last sold on : 03/21/20
Weiser Family Farms   Homepage 


Purple broccoli develops large, silvery-green leaves on stiff stems growing in whorls around a green central stalk. The plant produces a small, deep purple central head made of tiny flower sprouts, and nearly a dozen similarly sized heads on thinner stalks. Individual spears are harvested around 13 centimeters long for bunching and to promote the growth of additional heads. Purple broccoli offers a nutty, peppery flavor with the subtle sweetness and bitterness common to all Brassica vegetables. Our Purple Broccoli is from Weiser Family Farms located in Tehachapi, California, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. The farm naturally thrives from the unique growing climate that includes warm summer days and invaluable spring rains.


Purple broccoli is available in the late winter and through the early spring months.

Current Facts

Purple broccoli is a sprouting type, and a member of the Brassicaceae family. It is botanically classified as Brassica oleracea var. italica and is an heirloom variety that was once called Asparagus broccoli by the infamous French seed catalog, Vilmorin. Purple broccoli, as with other cruciferous cultivars, is a cool season plant and is sometimes referred to as ‘winter sprouting broccoli.’ There are several different named cultivars of Purple broccoli, including Bordeaux, Claret, Nine Star, Red Arrow, Red Head and Red Spear.

Nutritional Value

Purple broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C and a great source of vitamins K and A. It is also a good source of folates, B-complex vitamins, manganese and iron. Purple broccoli is a source of a moderate amount of dietary fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, copper, magnesium, and selenium, and contains trace amounts of zinc and sodium. It also contains phytonutrients and flavonoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which provide beneficial antioxidants.


Purple broccoli is more versatile than common broccoli as it is naturally more tender and cooks quickly under high heat while still retaining its textural integrity. It will, however, lose its purple hue due to the high heat. It can be sautéed, steamed, roasted, grilled and fried. It is well-suited for fresh eating alone or on a crudité platter. Add spears to pastas, risotto or use as a pizza topping. Purple broccoli's flavor marries well with seasonal spring companions such as leeks, kale, chicory, green garlic and citrus. Pair it with butter, olive oil, light-bodied vinegars, tomatoes, chiles, cured meats such as pancetta and prosciutto, flaky white fish, hard cheeses like parmesan and pecorino or fresh cheeses like chevre and feta. Store Purple broccoli wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Ethnic/Cultural Info

Scientists believe the naturalist Pliny was referring to Purple broccoli when he described “Bruttium broccoli” in the first century CE. Bruttium refers to the land at the southernmost tip of Italy, or what is now Calabria. It has also been referred to as Christmas Calabrian broccoli. The word “Calabrese” is used to refer to heading varieties of green broccoli throughout Europe, in the United Kingdom and especially Italy. The term ‘Cape’ is often used to describe colored varieties of heading broccoli. In Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom, the term ‘broccoli’ is used to refer to Purple broccoli and white sprouting types, including cauliflower.


Purple broccoli is native to the eastern Mediterranean and Central Asian region and was first cultivated in Southern Italy. Seeds for “Sprouting Purple broccoli” were first listed in the French Vilmorin-Andrieux seed catalog in 1885, which also introduced the colorful cultivar to the United States. Prior to the early 1980s, Purple broccoli was little known outside of England and Italy until two English breeders, Alan Gray and P. Crisp, began working on selecting hardier, better tasting plants and introduced seeds for an improved cultivar in 1985 that could be commercialized. Sprouting broccoli requires a longer growing season as they are planted in the late spring and not harvested until the winter or spring of the following year. The long length of time and multiple seasons it takes to bring crops to harvest can be cost, space and time prohibitive and Purple broccoli is not grown commercially. It is most likely spotted at farmer’s markets in Italy, United Kingdom and Southern California.

Recipe Ideas

Recipes that include Purple Broccoli. One is easiest, three is harder.
Kitchenist Warm Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad w/ Roasted Onions, Chestnuts and Blue Cheese
The Happy Foodie Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Clementine and Chilli
Super Golden Bakes Spring Tart with Ricotta, Leek, and Broccoli

Recently Shared

People have shared Purple Broccoli using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.

Produce Sharing allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.

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Share Pic 58109 Specialty Produce    vCard Info
Specialty Produce
1929 Hancock street San Diego CA 91910
Near San Diego, California, United States
About a day ago, 1/25/21
Sharer's comments : Purple Broccoli from County Line!!

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Specialty Produce
1929 Hancock street San Diego CA 91910
Near San Diego, California, United States
About 5 days ago, 1/21/21
Sharer's comments : Purple broccoli from county line harvest

Share Pic 58025 Santa Monica Farmers Market    vCard Info
County Line Harvest
Near Santa Monica, California, United States
About 6 days ago, 1/20/21

Share Pic 57974 Specialty Produce    vCard Info
Specialty Produce
1929 Hancock Street San Diego CA 92110
Near San Diego, California, United States
About 12 days ago, 1/14/21
Sharer's comments : Purple Broccoli from County Line Harvest

Share Pic 55541 Whole Foods Market    vCard Info
Whole Foods Market - South Lake Union
2210 Westlake Ave Seattle WA 98121
Near Seattle, Washington, United States
About 269 days ago, 5/02/20
Sharer's comments : Lovely, colorful local organic purple broccoli from Oregon!

Share Pic 55421 Central Co-op    vCard Info
Central Coop
1600 E. Madison St Seattle WA 98103
Near Seattle, Washington, United States
About 304 days ago, 3/28/20
Sharer's comments : Colorful and delicious, it's a win-win!

Share Pic 55273 Ground Works Organics    vCard Info
Lane County Farmers Market
150 Shelton Mcmurphey Blvd Eugene OR. 97401
Near Eugene, Oregon, United States
About 325 days ago, 3/07/20

Share Pic 55204 Santa Monica Farmers Market    vCard Info
Weiser Family Farms
511 Hill st. #205 Santa Monica Ca 90405
Near Santa Monica, California, United States
About 328 days ago, 3/04/20
Sharer's comments : Baby Purple Broccoli from Weiser Family Farms!

Share Pic 53359 Virginia Park Farmer's Market    vCard Info
Tamai family farms
Near Santa Monica, California, United States
About 388 days ago, 1/04/20

Share Pic 48294 Queen Anne Farmers Market    vCard Info
Skinny Kitty Farm
Mount Vernon, WA
Near Seattle, Washington, United States
About 586 days ago, 6/20/19
Sharer's comments : Beautiful bodacious broccoli, so tender no need to cook!

Share Pic 47310 Whole Foods Market    vCard Info
Whole Foods market
Near Upper Woburn PlaceEuston Road (Stop L), United Kingdom
About 642 days ago, 4/26/19
Sharer's comments : Fresh British Purple Sprouting broccoli !

Share Pic 47161 Snowgoose Produce    vCard Info
Snow Goose Produce
Mt Vernon, WA
Near Mount Vernon, Washington, United States
About 649 days ago, 4/18/19
Sharer's comments : Beautiful, tender, and nutritious :)

Share Pic 47068 Mar Vista Farmers Market    vCard Info
Aja - Gloria Tamai
Near Venice, California, United States
About 653 days ago, 4/14/19

Share Pic 47044 University District Farmers Market    vCard Info
Kirsop Farm
Tumwater, WA
Near Seattle, Washington, United States
About 654 days ago, 4/13/19
Sharer's comments : Beautiful purple broccoli ready to sauté with garlic and devour!