In Europe, purple sprouting broccoli was first introduced in Spain, under Bejo's Redi concept, and the United Kingdom. This year, in the Netherlands, grower Nico Hoogendoorn began cultivating this new vegetable variety too. He is from Dutch Valley Vegetables. "Redi is a nice addition and expansion to the assortment I'm currently growing," Nico says.
Wendy Hoogendoorn of Dutch Valley Vegetables and Daniëlle Bruin Bejo among the Redi purple sprouting broccoli.
Bejo's Danielle Bruin sees much potential to conquer continental Europe with this new vegetable. "This vegetable has endless uses. It has a somewhat softer, milder flavor than other broccoli varieties. The Redi also perfectly suits the healthy eating and convenience trends. You can use the whole plant. You don't have to remove the flower or stem. You can eat everything at once."
"You can cook the Redi, but it then turns dark green. To retain its unique color, you can stir fry or bake the Redi for a short time. Then you can serve a delicious meal within minutes. But you can steam, barbecue, or even eat it raw too. Also, research has shown that this purple sprouting broccoli is very healthy. It contains many good things like antioxidants, vitamin C, and anthocyanin. With these, this broccoli scores significantly better than traditional green varieties," explains Daniëlle.
AGF-Direct is one of the companies that will be marketing this unique broccoli concept in the Netherlands. "Dutch Valley Vegetables' cultivation is still small scale. But there's enough commercially available produce to introduce it to the Dutch market. With 70 growing days, you can plan reasonably well. Redi broccoli is available in the Netherlands from June until far into October."
The first Dutch season went well, cultivation-wise too. "Earlier sprouting broccoli varieties were becoming increasingly bushy. You had to harvest them, stem by stem. This is the first 'one cut' hybrid variety," says Danielle. Redi comes in new packaging. It includes a photo of a sample recipe and a QR code. That links to the website. "There's plenty of potential for the retail channel. But also for caterers, food service, and restaurants," she concludes.