• Use the right tools
  • Rejuvenate with iced water
  • Peel sprouts

One tip is to prepare brassicas as little as possible – or at least wait until the last minute – because a whole head lasts longer than one you have cut up. But as we know, one whole cabbage can be quite a lot. Try to have a plan for using it all up in the next few days. See cooking brassicas for inspiration.

Get out your biggest knife

Larger, sturdier types of cabbage need a decent-sized, sharp knife. If you’re using a knife that’s too small or too blunt, you’ll soon have the whole kitchen covered in bits of cabbage. A large knife also makes it easier when you’re cutting out intact wedges or slices to bake in the oven or fry.

Remove the outer leaves

The outer leaves act as protective packaging. Remove the leaves until the cabbage looks whole and fresh, and rinse it properly. Whole and great-looking outer leaves and tops, if you wash and finely chop them, can be a good basis for a casserole or soup that simmers gently on the stove for a long time.

Remove the peeled parts

If your cabbage has been sat doing nothing for a long time, some parts may have got dirty and/or dried out. Cut them off and use the rest if there aren’t any obvious signs it’s gone rotten.

Springier in cold water

green kale or black kale that has gone soft will regain some of its elasticity if you put it in cold water in the fridge. Leave it for 24 hours. No longer.

Brussels sprouts, a craft activity

The outer leaves of Brussels sprouts don’t look good and aren’t good to eat either. Cut off part of the stalk so it’s easy to remove the small leaves. If you’re using them to make crisps, just carry on, one leaf at a time.


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