For a while, the only vegetable we wanted to talk about was kale – from crispy snacks to a vital smoothie ingredient, kale was the superfood in everyone’s kitchen. But now, a newly renamed vegetable is reaching for the crown.
“Kalettes” are a combination of kale and Brussels sprouts, developed by the British company, Tozer Seeds. The same product was in fact launched in 2010, named “flower sprouts”, living low profile until the recent US release.
The US marketing team scrapped the name and focused on the kale side of the hybrid. With this focus, they hoped the superfood’s status and popularity would help boost its appeal. The campaign seems to have worked, with Fox News dubbing the kalette, “the hot new vegetable of 2015”.
Sweet but nutty in flavour, the kalette has the appearance of a small cabbage, with delicate, kale-like leaves. Fans of the vegetable claim it to be more versatile and quicker to cook than other vegetables – the kalette can be roasted, microwaved, eaten raw and sautéed.
However, the extremely pretty vegetable does have its faults. It is a seasonal vegetable, currently only available between November and March, whereas kale can be sourced throughout the year. But, if you have managed to get your hands on kalettes this season, how should you cook them?
Food writer Diana Henry recommends frying them in groundnut oil and ginger for an Asian twist, or adding them to a pasta dish, drizzled with olive oil.
The kalette has many benefits. Dietitian Christina Merryfield says, “Kalettes, like other cruciferous vegetables, are a rich source of nutrients: particularly vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, fibre and carotenoids. These vegetables also contain chemicals which, when broken down during cooking and digestion, have been linked to anti-cancer properties in animal studies. However, we are still not clear about this effect in humans.”
What do you think of the new vegetable hybrid? Will you be adding kalettes to your winter recipes?