And other cruciferae.. wot wot..
Winter is all about the cruciferous vegetables for me - you know, that lovely group of cabbagey-type things like Broccoli, Cauliflower, all kinds of Cabbage (of course), Sprouts, Kale, Kohl Rabi... you get the picture...
They are all members of the same family (and are commonly known as Brassicas).
They are a super-nutritious group of veggies - the HIGHEST in Vitamins A & C and also Vitamin K, which is known to have super inflammation reducing properties (ie cancers).
Mostly frost-hardy, winter really is these plants' time to shine. They would have been some of the few things our veg-growing ancestors would have been pulling from their gardens at this time of year, and for some reason, I do find myself drawn to a shimmering white cauli during these dark days..
If you're not usually a fan of these somewhat 'odorous' veggies, but are willing to give them another go, then these few easy and inclusive recipe ideas might just convince you of their culinary worth. Say goodbye to the soggy-sprout!
FIRST THINGS FIRST though.. PLEASE buy organic. This group of vegetables is one of the most sprayed and pesticide heavy - because it attracts so many predators.
Most supermarkets have organic and if you have a farm shop near you they will probably have something close, or at least better than a commercially grown alternative.
Red Cabbage is SO good raw. Peppery and crunchy. Thinly slice and mix with grated carrot to make a quick 'slaw (dress as you like) A few caraway seeds and/or mustard seeds in this add an extra flavour dimension.
OR, incorporate thin slices into stir fry rice. Those handy quick-rice packs we all buy now..? Well stir fry rather than microwave and you can add a handful of red cabbage (or other veg) slivers and herbs/spices.
The Humble Cauliflower.
Ok, I know I've got a tough job here.. There couldn't be a much more anaemic looking vegetable than the Cauli. Poor old thing. First rule DO NOT BOIL!! If there is ever a way to suck life from a vegetable its through boiling!
ROAST golf-ball sized florets with lemon juice, sea salt & paprika for 25 mins at 200 degrees till slightly charred. Quite an elegant little party nibble, actually..
RAW - Make into couscous or add tiny florets to a salad with walnuts/almonds & blue cheese.
CURRY - there is no better mop for indian spices than a cauli. FACT. Just roast with indian spices (as above) if you can't be bothered with the whole curry-making malarky.
Argh! What to do with those big, weird-looking, rigid leaves?!
KALE CHIPS is the way to go.
They are dark and irony and rich tasting when cooked like this. Like crispy seaweed, minus about 400 calories!
Prep as shown and toss in a bowl with a little olive oil, sea salt and a few chili flakes. Arrange on tray as shown and roast for about 10 mins at 220 degrees. Serve immediately, as a side or a nibble ('crisps'!)
In addition to