Monday 12 March 2012

Culling the brassicas

In the process of preparing my raised beds for the new season I harvested  a few small brassica plants that were at the "Use it or Lose it" stage. They were actually the spare plants that I had kept just in case the main crops didn't establish themselves. Having been kept in smallish pots for far too long, these were never going to be prime specimens, but I planted them out anyway, rather than composting them. There were two Flower Sprouts, one Purple Sprouting Broccoli and one Cavolo Nero. Last weekend their turn to be used finally came. This is what I got:-

I used all useable part of the plants, including the cabbage-like tops of the Flower Sprouts, which I split into individual leaves for use in the kitchen.

The choicest bits were the very tips of the plants, seen here along with the best of the sprouts from the Flower Sprouts (which are themselves like miniature versions of the parent plant's Top):

So, just about the right quantity to serve two people. We had ours steamed as an accompaniment to some roast pork. Pork and kale is a classic combination.

When you are a gardener you sometimes learn to "make something out of nothing" - I mean using everything that is edible, and not just the choicest specimens. Many people who only buy veg from the shops expect everything to look perfect, and a lot of good food is wasted because of this.


  1. I always use thinned-out vegetables like smaller spinach, komatsunas and pak-chois and usually stir-fly them with sliced bacon.

  2. It’s funny but when I first saw the title of your post I misread it as ‘Calling all Brassicas’ and then had this image in my head of all the brassicas in their vegetable beds across the kingdom, rising up to take arms against some unknown foe...

    Ok, it’s been a long day and I’m now going to have a little lie down in a quiet, dark room...

  3. It always annoys me how much is thrown away because it doesn't conform to supermarket specifications.

  4. I am with you, Mark: we are using everything edible in our garden to make a room for a new plants. What do I do with parsley, though? We have a few warm days ahead and I am afraid it will start bolting...

    1. Parsley pesto is lovely - simply replace the basil with parsley and the pine nuts with walnuts and I think it works really well.

  5. Marina; If you have an excess of parsley, maybe you should make some Tabbouleh, or even some Persillade? (If you're not familiar with these, Google will assist!)

  6. There really is something very satisfying about using every last bit of edible plant isn't there.

  7. I have made meals out of a lot less so it looks pretty good to me Mark. I have it easy now, if we don't eat it the chickens, ducks or pigs will so nothing is ever wasted now.

  8. I bet it was really tasty. There's so much good stuff wasted these days.

  9. we had such a mild winter here I still have so much of this that lasted since fall...some of it is going to seed and tastes a little bitter...but I have soo much!! Maybe I will steam it tonight..thanks for the idea!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  10. I would have loved some of your thrifty home grown greens on my plate.

  11. Better than nothing indeed!

    I bet they were delicious nonetheless!


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.