Week of December 4th 2022
These tiny cabbages are in a class all by themselves. Brussels Sprouts are one my favorite vegetables and are a staple all winter long. As a farmer, I’ll just say, growing these beauties are not for the faint of heart. I usually defer to my neighbors who enjoy the challenge. The goal is to transplant in late July so that they can get well established, and then when the cold weather sets in they are mostly mature and will continue growing at a slower rate. And since we live in the floodplain, that isn’t protected by dikes, coupled with the fact that they take months to grow, I have left this veggie to other farmers to supply the Box of Good. The cold weather is what imparts a sweetness to the Brassica family (Cabbages, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Brussels Sprouts).
I am including a link to a YouTube video with 3 different ways to prepare Brussels Sprouts by Brian Lagerstrom. He has a French feel to his cooking and an easy-to-follow style. (youtube.com/watch?v=1LlZJFfJyxk)
I am going to try blanching them this week. I don’t usually blanch my vegetables, but after watching him do it, I am all in. I am not sure why I haven’t blanched much before, but I can definitely see some advantages. It can help vegetables to not get overcooked (which I think overcooked Brussels Sprouts have given them a bad rap). I also loved his take a on a grated Brussels Sprouts salad and for sure his recipe could easily be adapted for broccoli or red or green cabbage. Having a few techniques to draw upon that can work across many different veggies is important knowledge to have in your cooking repertoire.
However, blanching full size cabbages is not recommended, but for sure grating them makes a lot of sense (think fancy coleslaw). The other night Joelle and enjoyed an Apple Ginger Cole Slaw at the Blue Heron on Camano Island. I like ginger and apples, so combining those flavors with cabbage provided a light and refreshing appetizer.
This week I will be blanching up some Brussels Sprouts. How about you?
On the home farm, our walnuts are ready to enjoy! We will be putting them into a menu shortly, but for now you can add them to your order.
-Tristan, Joelle and Box of Good Crew