CHOOSING CABBAGES AND KALE

  • Many sorts are interchangeable
  • High season in autumn and winter
  • Hardy vegetables often good quality in the shops

Brassicas can be divided into three main groups. There’s the kind that form a ball, i.e. red and white cabbage. There’s the kind that form long leaves from a stalk, such as green and black kale. And then there’s the kind with florets that look more like flowers than vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower.

Which goes with what:

Many members of the brassica family are interchangeable but the starting point is to choose light, airy varieties for salads and weightier heads for stir fries, frying and braising.

Best in the winter

Most varieties turn up in late autumn and winter, but you can also find tender summer cabbage that works well in salads.

Cabbages in fine form

Cabbages tend to be hardy, which mean they’re usually in good condition in the shops. But reject the ones where the outer leaves have gone limp. As for green kale, you don’t want it if the leaves have started to go yellow. Grey and/or discolored sections on cauliflower and broccoli are also a sure sign that they’ve been on the shelves for too long.

With the right cooking techniques, cabbage can have the same flavor intensity as a really well cooked, top quality piece of meat.
– Paul Svensson, Fotografiska and other restaurants

 

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