The brassica family is a very pungent collection of vegetables. They can all look so different that you wouldn’t guess that bok choy and radishes were cousins (they even come from different continents), or that either of them are related to mustard seeds.
Domesticated members of the family “have been selectively bred over many years to produce different strains in which different plant parts have sought-after characteristics. In broccoli and cauliflower you eat the flower buds, Brussels sprouts are lateral leaf buds, cabbage is the terminal bud, kohlrabi is the stem and kale is the leaves.” 4.2 The diversity of edible species. In: Bhagwat, Shonil. Eating for the Environment. Open University Course. Step 4.2. Accessed April 2021 at https://www.open.edu/openlearn/nature-environment/eating-the-environment/content-section-4.2
Kale, in its original tough, bitter and wild state, may be one of the matriarchs of the family. All of the family are hearty vegetables that prefer cool weather.
In crop rotation, you shouldn’t plant any member of the brassica family in the same place as any other member was, because all attract the same kind of insects and diseases.
The brassica family is sometimes also referred to as the mustard family.
See also: Cabbage Day
Instead of always boiling members of the brassica family, try braising them in small amounts of wine or stock, with garlic or other flavourings. They go well with any kind of pork — consider adding smoky bacon, for instance, to broccoli or cabbage, or baking mustard greens with a gorgonzola cheese sauce and pancetta with crumpled polenta on top.
Very high levels of beta carotene and glucosinolates, which may help the body protect itself against diseases such as cancer. Good source of potassium, Vitamin C, and folic acid. Also contain Vitamin E, calcium, iron and fibre.
Radish is the least nutritious member of the family.
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