BRASSI

CAS

Foreword 

vii

Introduction 

1

Brassica Basics 

3

Chapter One

KALE 
Chapter Two

CAULIFLOWER  34
Chapter Three

BRUSSELS SPROUTS
and CABBAGE 

Chapter Four

BROCCOLI 

Chapter Five

LEAFY BRASSICAS

Collard Greens, Mustard Greens,
Broccoli Rabe, Arugula, and Cress 

Chapter Six

ASIAN BRASSICAS

14

Bok Choy, Chinese Broccoli,
Mizuna, Napa Cabbage, and Tatsoi 

Chapter Seven

ROOT BRASSICAS
and KOHLRABI

52

72

90

112

Radish, Turnip, Rutabaga,
Horseradish, Wasabi, and Kohlrabi

Brassicas and Your Health: Special Issues

154

Special Diets

156

Acknowledgments  

132

161

Contributors
162

Selected Bibliography 

163

Index 

164

of kale, sweet potatoes, and Mexican
spices tastes great on its own as a basic side dish, but it can easily work as a main course, as well. I have added a fried egg to each
serving to turn it into a breakfast hash and have used it as a taco
filling. It also makes a nifty topping for tostadas: pick up tostada
shells (crisp corn tortillas) at the grocery store and top them with
the sautéed vegetables, chopped fresh cilantro, avocado cubes,
and a scattering of crumbled queso fresco.
THE SIMPLE COMBINATION

Kale and Sweet
Potato Sauté
SERVES 4

2 tablespoons olive oil (divided),
plus more if needed

In a large (12 inches or wider) nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the
oil over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally,
for about 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the salt,
2 teaspoons of the chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of the cumin. Add a touch
more oil if the pan seems dry, then continue cooking, stirring occasionally,
for 8 to 10 minutes more, until the sweet potatoes are golden brown and
cooked through. If the sweet potato cubes are larger than 1/2 inch, they may
take longer to cook. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a bowl.

11 ⁄2 pounds sweet potatoes
(2 medium), peeled and cut into
1 ⁄ 2 -inch cubes

In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the garlic over
medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle (do not let it brown), add
the kale—a little at a time until all of it fits in the pan—and turn it with
tongs to coat it with the garlicky oil. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt,
1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Stir in the water and
cook for about 5 minutes, until the kale is wilted and tender. Return the
sweet potatoes to the pan and heat for about 2 minutes more, until heated
through. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve hot.

1 medium bunch kale (about
10 ounces), center ribs and
tough stems removed, leaves
shredded

3 ⁄4

teaspoon kosher salt (divided)

1 tablespoon chili powder
(divided)
11 ⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
(divided)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Kale

1 tablespoon water

27

of kale, sweet potatoes, and Mexican
spices tastes great on its own as a basic side dish, but it can easily work as a main course, as well. I have added a fried egg to each
serving to turn it into a breakfast hash and have used it as a taco
filling. It also makes a nifty topping for tostadas: pick up tostada
shells (crisp corn tortillas) at the grocery store and top them with
the sautéed vegetables, chopped fresh cilantro, avocado cubes,
and a scattering of crumbled queso fresco.
THE SIMPLE COMBINATION

Kale and Sweet
Potato Sauté
SERVES 4

2 tablespoons olive oil (divided),
plus more if needed

In a large (12 inches or wider) nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the
oil over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally,
for about 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the salt,
2 teaspoons of the chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of the cumin. Add a touch
more oil if the pan seems dry, then continue cooking, stirring occasionally,
for 8 to 10 minutes more, until the sweet potatoes are golden brown and
cooked through. If the sweet potato cubes are larger than 1/2 inch, they may
take longer to cook. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a bowl.

11 ⁄2 pounds sweet potatoes
(2 medium), peeled and cut into
1 ⁄ 2 -inch cubes

In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the garlic over
medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle (do not let it brown), add
the kale—a little at a time until all of it fits in the pan—and turn it with
tongs to coat it with the garlicky oil. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt,
1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Stir in the water and
cook for about 5 minutes, until the kale is wilted and tender. Return the
sweet potatoes to the pan and heat for about 2 minutes more, until heated
through. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve hot.

1 medium bunch kale (about
10 ounces), center ribs and
tough stems removed, leaves
shredded

3 ⁄4

teaspoon kosher salt (divided)

1 tablespoon chili powder
(divided)
11 ⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
(divided)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Kale

1 tablespoon water

27

Charred
Brussels
Sprouts with
Pancetta and
Fig Glaze

NOTHING TASTES BETTER with Brussels sprouts than cured pork,
which is why I unapologetically offer you recipes that flavor sprouts
with both pancetta and bacon (page 61). Here, the salty pancetta
plays well with the sweetness from the fig jam, and you can finish
the dish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to add a tangy note (see
variations). I found fig jam near the grocery store’s cheese counter
(not in the jams and jellies aisle), but you could also try apricot or
peach jam instead. You may want to add a touch more jam than
I suggest, but strive for a subtle sweetness rather than a cloying,
sticky mess.

SERVES 4

3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
3 to 4 ounces pancetta, diced
11 ⁄2 pounds Brussels sprouts,
trimmed and halved (or
quartered if large) through the
stem end (about 6 cups)
1 ⁄4

teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons fig jam
1 tablespoon water
1 ⁄4

teaspoon freshly ground black
pepper

In a large (12 inches or wider) frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over
medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, for about
3 minutes, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a
small bowl. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the Brussels sprouts, keeping them in a single
layer as much as possible. Having a few extra sprouts is fine, but if they are
mounded in a pile, they will not brown or cook evenly. If necessary, use a
larger pan, cook them in two batches, or pull out the extra for another use.
Stir in the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the
Brussels sprouts are tender and well browned—even charred in spots. If
the sprouts are browning too quickly, lower the heat to medium.
Add the fig jam and the water and stir until the jam melts and coats the
Brussels sprouts. Add the reserved pancetta and the pepper and stir to
combine. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if needed. Serve warm.
For a sweet, salty, tangy version, add a drizzle (a teaspoon or
less) of balsamic vinegar at the end. Aged balsamic is an especially good
choice. Although I prefer pancetta here (I like its unsmoked rich pork
flavor), you can use bacon in its place.

Bra ssic a s

VARIATIONS

58

Charred
Brussels
Sprouts with
Pancetta and
Fig Glaze

NOTHING TASTES BETTER with Brussels sprouts than cured pork,
which is why I unapologetically offer you recipes that flavor sprouts
with both pancetta and bacon (page 61). Here, the salty pancetta
plays well with the sweetness from the fig jam, and you can finish
the dish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to add a tangy note (see
variations). I found fig jam near the grocery store’s cheese counter
(not in the jams and jellies aisle), but you could also try apricot or
peach jam instead. You may want to add a touch more jam than
I suggest, but strive for a subtle sweetness rather than a cloying,
sticky mess.

SERVES 4

3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
3 to 4 ounces pancetta, diced
11 ⁄2 pounds Brussels sprouts,
trimmed and halved (or
quartered if large) through the
stem end (about 6 cups)
1 ⁄4

teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons fig jam
1 tablespoon water
1 ⁄4

teaspoon freshly ground black
pepper

In a large (12 inches or wider) frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over
medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, for about
3 minutes, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a
small bowl. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the Brussels sprouts, keeping them in a single
layer as much as possible. Having a few extra sprouts is fine, but if they are
mounded in a pile, they will not brown or cook evenly. If necessary, use a
larger pan, cook them in two batches, or pull out the extra for another use.
Stir in the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the
Brussels sprouts are tender and well browned—even charred in spots. If
the sprouts are browning too quickly, lower the heat to medium.
Add the fig jam and the water and stir until the jam melts and coats the
Brussels sprouts. Add the reserved pancetta and the pepper and stir to
combine. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if needed. Serve warm.
For a sweet, salty, tangy version, add a drizzle (a teaspoon or
less) of balsamic vinegar at the end. Aged balsamic is an especially good
choice. Although I prefer pancetta here (I like its unsmoked rich pork
flavor), you can use bacon in its place.

Bra ssic a s

VARIATIONS

58

with arugula as a simple salad
green than as salad-on-top-of-a-pizza green. Here, the residual
heat from the crust and creamy warmth of the ricotta temper the
peppery bite of the arugula, which is why pizzas like this one are
popular on menus throughout the country. Many grocery stores
and pizza parlors sell premade pizza dough, which makes this recipe perfect for weeknight cooking. If you are following a glutenfree diet, look for a gluten-free box mix or frozen crust and follow
the package directions. If the crust needs longer than 10 to 12 minutes in the oven, prebake the crust partially, then add the cheese
topping for the final 10 minutes.

YOU ARE LIKELY MORE FAMILIAR

White Pizza
with Arugula
and Prosciutto
MAK ES ONE
(10 - TO 12- INCH) PIZ Z A

1⁄2

cup ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons grated
Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground
black pepper
8 ounces pizza dough, at room
temperature
2 cups arugula leaves
2 to 3 slices prosciutto, cut into
narrow strips (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed
lemon juice

Place a pizza stone on an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat
the oven to 500°F for a full 30 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the
ricotta, Parmesan, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, mixing well.
Lay a sheet of parchment paper 12 to 14 inches square on a work surface.
Place the dough on the parchment and roll or pat it into a 10- to 12-inch
round about 1/8 inch thick. Using the back of a spoon, spread the cheese
mixture evenly over the crust. Transfer the parchment to a rimless or an
inverted baking sheet. Slide the pizza—parchment and all—onto the hot
baking stone and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the
topping is browned. (If you do not have a baking stone, slide the pizza and
parchment onto a rimless baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. The
crust will not be quite as crisp.)

Bra ssic a s

Just before the pizza is ready to come out of the oven, combine the arugula
and prosciutto in a bowl. Drizzle with the oil and lemon juice, add a pinch
of salt and a generous grind of pepper, and toss to coat evenly. Remove the
pizza from the oven and mound the salad on top. The heat from the pizza
will wilt the greens. Serve immediately, cut into wedges.

110

with arugula as a simple salad
green than as salad-on-top-of-a-pizza green. Here, the residual
heat from the crust and creamy warmth of the ricotta temper the
peppery bite of the arugula, which is why pizzas like this one are
popular on menus throughout the country. Many grocery stores
and pizza parlors sell premade pizza dough, which makes this recipe perfect for weeknight cooking. If you are following a glutenfree diet, look for a gluten-free box mix or frozen crust and follow
the package directions. If the crust needs longer than 10 to 12 minutes in the oven, prebake the crust partially, then add the cheese
topping for the final 10 minutes.

YOU ARE LIKELY MORE FAMILIAR

White Pizza
with Arugula
and Prosciutto
MAK ES ONE
(10 - TO 12- INCH) PIZ Z A

1⁄2

cup ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons grated
Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground
black pepper
8 ounces pizza dough, at room
temperature
2 cups arugula leaves
2 to 3 slices prosciutto, cut into
narrow strips (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed
lemon juice

Place a pizza stone on an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat
the oven to 500°F for a full 30 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the
ricotta, Parmesan, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, mixing well.
Lay a sheet of parchment paper 12 to 14 inches square on a work surface.
Place the dough on the parchment and roll or pat it into a 10- to 12-inch
round about 1/8 inch thick. Using the back of a spoon, spread the cheese
mixture evenly over the crust. Transfer the parchment to a rimless or an
inverted baking sheet. Slide the pizza—parchment and all—onto the hot
baking stone and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the
topping is browned. (If you do not have a baking stone, slide the pizza and
parchment onto a rimless baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. The
crust will not be quite as crisp.)

Bra ssic a s

Just before the pizza is ready to come out of the oven, combine the arugula
and prosciutto in a bowl. Drizzle with the oil and lemon juice, add a pinch
of salt and a generous grind of pepper, and toss to coat evenly. Remove the
pizza from the oven and mound the salad on top. The heat from the pizza
will wilt the greens. Serve immediately, cut into wedges.

110

BRASSI
CAS