We don't use the term brassica often, but we're definitely familiar with the hearty veggies that live in this family, with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage being the most popular. But don't stop there. From rutabaga to turnips, here are five brilliant brassicas to work into your meal plan right now.
While turnips are available year-round, you'll notice they're making a big appearance is CSA boxes right now and will again in the springtime. Turnips can have a spicy, peppery edge when eaten raw (much like a radish), but cook them and you'll find they mellow out considerably.
When it comes to cooking, treat turnips as you would any other root vegetable. Roast them for a quick side dish; add them to a soup, stew, or braise; cook them into a breakfast hash; or layer them onto a savory tart.
Read more: 5 Ways to Eat More Turnips
Recipes to Eat More Turnips
Kohlrabi is likely the most oddly shaped vegetable at the farmers market, but don't let that dissuade you from giving it a try. It's surprisingly versatile and can be an easy swap for veggies you're already used to cooking with, like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
You'll find kohlrabi with purple or pale green bulbs and a crisp texture similar to cabbage or broccoli stalks. Eat kohlrabi raw, sliced or shredded into salads and slaws; toss it into a stir-fry; cook it into a soup; or simply dice and roast it in the oven.
Read more: Everything You Should Know About Kohlrabi
Recipes to Eat More Kohlrabi
You're probably familiar with cabbage as the main ingredient in your summer slaw, but that's not all this brassica is capable of. Raw cabbage is known for its funky bite, but when treated to some heat — whether cooked in a stir-fry or curry, roasted, or grilled — you'll find its flavor quickly becomes mild and almost sweet.
Read more: 20 Ways to Eat More Cabbage
Recipes to Eat More Cabbage
4. Brussels Sprouts
This brassica comes with big possibilities that will easily win you over. Brussels sprouts are super versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked, as a side or part of the main course, but their best claim to popularity comes at the hands of high-heat roasting. While you can never go wrong with that preparation, Brussels sprouts can also be shredded for salads or slaw or sautéed with pasta for dinner.
Recipes to Eat More Brussels Sprouts
If you've ever thought that rutabagas look like large turnips, that could be because this root vegetable is actually a cross between cabbage and turnips.
Once the waxy skin is peeled away, rutabagas can be cooked and mashed like potatoes, or roasted and then eaten sprinkled with salt and pepper, tossed into a salad, or blended into a creamy soup. Try swapping them in for sweet potatoes and winter squash in a favorite recipe.
Read more: 5 Ways to Cook Rutabagas