Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More

Cookbooks and cultural conversation starters top our summer reading list

Food, Foodies, Foodways

Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More

by Laura B. Russell
Ten Speed Press, 176 pp., $23

It was not that long ago that brassicas – better known as cruciferous vegetables – were the pariahs of the kitchen. Then one day, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts went from the most-hated list to chef and health-food darlings, almost overnight. And just like these often-overlooked veggies, this little book would have likely been snubbed by most cooks in the past. But now that home cooks are not afraid to give these healthy vegetables a try in the kitchen, Russell provides an excellent resource to do just that, offering a variety of techniques and recipes to make the best of their singular flavors, textures, and characteristics.

Russell writes recipes that are enticing, simple, and easy to follow, with beautiful photography to match, in a book size that is just right for the kitchen. She starts with a primer on all-things brassicas, including tips on selecting, prepping, best cooking methods, flavor profiles and pairing, and the most important issue for most cooks – how to reduce the sulfuric smell associated with overcooking these vegetables. The book breaks the different kinds of brassicas into individual chapters, giving kale, broccoli, and cauliflower their own chapters, and combining others that have similar flavors, origins, or cooking methods.

Aside from traditional, tried-and-true preparations like cauliflower gratin and steamed broccoli with lemon, Russell offers fresh takes on slaws, salads, casseroles, and more. From bok choy and crystalized ginger Waldorf salad to grilled cabbage wedges with lemon-thyme vinaigrette and roasted cauliflower with pickled peppers and mint, I already have a few recipes earmarked for easy summer suppers, and will be ready come fall when these tasty, formerly maligned veggies will be at their peak.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More cookbook reviews
In Print
In Print
Colette Rossant's The World in My Kitchen

Kate Thornberry, Jan. 12, 2007

In Print
In Print
The Brass sisters' Heirloom Baking

Kate Thornberry, Jan. 12, 2007

More Food Reviews
I Am a Filipino and This Is How We Cook
I Am a Filipino and This Is How We Cook

Kahron Spearman, Oct. 26, 2018

Buttermilk Graffiti
Buttermilk Graffiti

Jessi Devenyns, Oct. 26, 2018

More by Claudia Alarcón
Savory Characters
Savory Characters
Cooking up the next generation of cocktails

Feb. 6, 2015

Calling the Shots
Calling the Shots
The women defining Austin's cocktail culture

Jan. 23, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

cookbook reviews, cookbooks, summer reading, Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More, Laura B. Russell

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle