So what exactly are these sprout tops in the standard box this week?!?
Have you ever cut off something like the top of something like a carrot, stood it in water and watched it sprout? Lovely kiddy science experiment but thankfully these they are not.
Sprout tops are what grow at the top of a brussels sprouts plant (telling us that Christmas is just around the corner). Here’s a photo in case you’ve never seen one before:
And we’ve been saving up this delightful article on why sprout tops are good for you, waiting for them to make an appearance in the boxes. And much as we like writing about the vegetables in our boxes, we’re not going to beat this quote in waxing lyrical about vegetables…
“Even to the most hardened brussels sprouts dodgers, sprout tops – the clusters of leaves that grow at the crown of the sprouts’ stalk – may come as something of a revelation. These elegant, curved, purple-green leaves look beautiful – like a still life painted by a Dutch old master. In taste terms, they unite the sweet, cabbage-like freshness of young spring greens with a delicate memory of brussels sprouts, but without any of the latter’s sometimes testing sulphurous undertones. They cook almost instantly to a submissive silkiness.”
And as for why they are good for you:
“Sprout tops offer all the nutritional virtues of brussels sprouts. Along with broccoli, they have the highest levels of glucosinolate compounds (which are believed to protect against cancer) of the (glucosinolate-rich) brassica family. These compounds also seem to help the body detoxify – particularly useful in the festive season. [They] are vitamin-dense, and have exceptionally rich stores of two vitamins in particular: anti-inflammatory vitamin K, which like calcium, helps build bone density; and vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system – a winner in winter.”
The article also has the perfect recipe for wet and dreary days: sprout top, potato and chorizo soup. Gotta check out that “submissive silkiness” now!
Urban Food Awards – Vote for Stepney City Farm
Do vote for Stepney City Farm to win the Urban Food Awards. The cafe has transformed the farm, and the breakfast, soups, stews and coffees are so worth voting for. And the delights of truly local, seasonal farm fresh produce in the cooking!
This Week’s Bounty
* Charlotte Potatoes, Lancs
* Red Onions, Kent
* Carrots, Lancs
* Green Kale, Kent
* Beetroot Bunch, Kent
Savoy Cabbage, Lincs
Sprout Tops, Lancs
Items starred (*) above
Pears, Kent (standard box only)