Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Here's my latest new vegetable toy of the summer. It's a cabbage called Brassica oleracea var. costata or var. tronchuda with common names including tronchuda, couve tronchuda, or Portuguese kale.

In the field, this leaf cabbage looks similar to Brussels sprouts or collards, with large rounded leaves radiating off a central stalk, and no sign of a head like cabbage. As you can see, the leaves look very much like collards, but collards are bluer and collards don't tolerate the heat of summer. Also, these leaves are thicker than collards.

The flavor tastes very much like cabbage and not at all like collards. As such, so far, it has only gone into our farmers market slaw where it performs admirably. It is the traditional green in a wide array of Portuguese soups.

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