Saturday, March 18, 2017
The Hearts of Biennial Members of the Brassica Family
The brassica family is a large family of edible vegetables (European greens and Asian greens), including collard green, kale, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, daikon, radish, turnip, etc. Whereas some of the members are annual vegetables, others are biennials. Most biennial members of the brassica family are more cold hardy, heat tolerant, and drought tolerant. Perhaps these are their evolutionary adaptions allowing them to survive both heat and cold so that they can live for two years, instead of just one.
Unlike the annual members in the brassica family, biennial members do not bolt even in the hot summer in their first year. Instead, all biennial members of the brassica family, such as cabbage, collard green, and kale, will grow stems and then flowers in their second year. They can start "bolting" (growing stems and flowers) as early as early spring, and all the way to late summer before they finally die off.
Although you can eat cabbage heart raw, I prefer to saute them using a little bit of vegetable oil, soy sauce, and ginger powder. If you haven't tried this before, you have to cause it is just super tender, flavorful, and yummy! They are like no other vegetables that you have ever tried before. BTW, the second year leaves of cabbage that pop up in late winter and early spring are also much more tender, sweeter, and more flavorful than their first year counterparts because of the cold weather. I prefer not to eat them though cause I want to get more hearts out of the plant. You need more leaves to support more hearts!
I don't have enough cabbage hearts for sale this year, so they are mainly for my own consumption. Starting from next year, I will have collard green hearts, kale hearts, daikon heart, and cabbage heart for sale. So, stay tuned.
Posted by College Rodent at 2:51 PM