ON OUR LIST OF GARDENING SKILLS TO improve on, growing Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are at the top. Perhaps it’s the warmer weather in our region, but we’re not all that good at growing most cruciferous vegetables in the cabbage family—though we are absolutely great at eating them. So when we see gardens in cool-weather environments flourish with blooming heads of broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts, we’re “green” with envy!
Our growing success comes largely in humble bunches of kale, radishes, turnips, and mustard greens. A handful of these seeds will sprout like a swarm of bees on the soil. Radishes, especially, are a joy to grow because of gorgeous varieties like French Breakfast, Watermelon, Purple Plum, and Pink Beauty.
We’ve yet to refuse to eat anything cruciferous, and these vegetables diversify our menu throughout the year. There’s never a mundane moment at a meal in which a cruciferous vegetable is involved. Steamed, grilled, barbecued, sautéed, or eaten raw, these are vegetables that can satisfy.
The health benefits are undeniable as well, so eating anything in the cabbage family makes us feel like superheroes. They seem to have it all: fiber, vitamins, and disease-fighting nutrients.
Throughout the year, cruciferous vegetables are available in different forms and we’ve grown to appreciate anything with green in more ways than we can count. Salads are essential for spring and summer dinners, and during the autumn and winter months we stuff ourselves with cool-weather kale and winter radishes. During those cooler days, we cuddle up to creamed cabbage, warm kale salads, and savory sautéed mustard greens.
Because this group of vegetables is so broad, it’s hard to choose a favorite. The variety of bulbs and leaves keeps our hands busy in the kitchen and our palates excited all year long.
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