Skip to comments.New Hybrid BrusselKale Hits Home And Restaurant Kitchens
Posted on 05/07/2014 4:46:21 PM PDT by nickcarraway
In the past few years, Brussels sprouts and kale have become two of the hottest vegetables around. Once either outright reviled or merely ignored, theyve become popular staples in the kitchens of health-focused homes and trendy restaurants alike. For fans of the two vegetables, it can be difficult to choose which is their favorite.
But now, you dont have to.
Enter a new hybrid vegetable that is equal parts Brussels sprouts and kale. Developed a few years ago by British vegetable breeding company Tozer Seeds, it entered the spotlight recently via prominent features on NBCs Today show and in New York magazine.
The fledgling vegetable has taken on a few names. Tozer Seeds markets it as Flower Sprouts, and its sometimes referred to as lollipop kale or kale sprouts. But another name, BrusselKale, belongs to Miami-based Rock Garden, an urban farm in the warehouse district near Miami International Airport.
While several farms around the country have begun to grow the plant, Rock Gardens is the only organic variety out there so far. The farm grows about five acres of the product between two locations in Homestead and Lake Okeechobee, yielding about 250 pounds per week.
BrusselKale caught the attention of Thi Squire, director of product development for Rock Garden, while she was reading trade publications. She says that while there isnt much awareness about the vegetable, those who have tried it became instant fans.
It is so new that no one really knows about it yet. And upon first seeing it everyone just thinks its another kale, but once you explain that its a hybrid and have them taste it they are completely blown away, Squire says.
The distinctive plant isnt easy to grow. Maturation takes abour four months. Although the experts at Rock Garden have learned tricks to promote growth, the process remains labor intensive. But the hard work is paying off.
One advantage of the hybrid is that although it comes from two bitter vegetables, the combined flavor is much less bitter, making it an easier sell for eaters turned off by Brussels sprouts trademark bitterness, in particular.
I have many people claim that they dont like kale or Brussels sprouts but then try our BrusselKale and become converts, Squire says.
Another interesting facet of BrusselKale is its texture, which is more substantial than the leafier brussels sprouts and kale. It has a stalk-like structure similar to that of broccoli, and its chewy.
The vegetable retains many of the health benefits of the two plants: Its fiber-rich and high in Vitamin K, just like its kale counterpart, and it has twice as much vitamin B6 and C as Brussels sprouts.
And even given its different texture, BrusselKale can be cooked in many of the same ways you would prepare Brussels sprouts and kale. It is especially delicious sauteed with bacon or stir-fried with garlic and ginger and seasoned with soy sauce.
An added bonus: When cooked, the plant takes on vibrant shades of emerald and purple, which could add a deep touch of color to dishes.
BrusselKale comes in a microwavable three-ounce bag that retails for about $4. It can be found at Milams markets and at Bee Heavens farm stand at the Pinecrest Farmers Market, with more locations to come.
Among the fans of the vegetable is Roel Alcudia, chef de cuisine at Michael Schwartzs Design District restaurant Cypress Room. He says he first discovered the vegetable through Farm to Kitchen, which sources locally grown food.
It has a very earthy taste and its super savory, Alcudia says. It has a slight bitterness, which is a good thing, while also being sweet.
Cypress Room has featured BrusselKale in a grouper entree paired with white beans and a duck dish with roulade, beet-date purée and salmis, a classic French preparation for sliced meat in sauce.
Alcudia says sauteeing BrusselKale in a wok, grilling it over direct heat or broiling it helps bring out its unique taste characteristics.
You should give it a good fast cooking, so dont be shy with it, Alcudia says. It is a lot sweeter than Brussel sprouts or kale. Even compared to a Tuscan kale, its a little sweeter and a little nuttier, so you can accentuate the flavors by cooking it like this.
“That ain’t food - that’s what food eats!”
I just ate a bunch of roasted Brussel sprouts brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. DeeeeeLish!
Going to be starting some of these in my garden this week. Love kale, love brussells sprouts - bet this will be good too
Looks good. combined with bacon sounds like an old Southern recipe. on the other garlic, sesame oil, oyster sauce with a little fish sauce, might work pretty well (a few thai chilies wouldn’t hurt).
I love cabbage but hate Brussel Sprouts. As for Kale, its best used as garnish, but cook it with enough bacon and it’s edible.
Little kids haven’t had a nightmare like this since the invention of broccoflower.
Hey, Kosmic-—where are you getting your seeds?
Can the Broccoli-melon be far behind?
Brussels sprouts are called “ monkey brains” in our house. Ewww.
Kale is lightly sautéed in butter with garlic and onions. It is a fav. The first tender leaves of kale are added to salads. I also dehydrate kale, crunching the leaves into soups and stews like one uses an herb.
I cannot digest broccoli or cauliflowers we’re. Both do not sit well, though cabbage is fine. Broccuflower or whatever it is called, I have no problem with. I planted some last week, though I do not normally plant hybrids. (You cannot get the same results if you let one go to seed.)
Those I got from Johnny's Selected Seeds. http://www.johnnyseeds.com/
So far the seeds I have gotten from them I have been very happy with. I tried their pelleted lettuce seeds and those are great. No thinning. I figure that alone was worth the extra price :-)
Thanks. I grow both brussels sprouts and kale, so I have to try this.