21 Sep

Over any other vegetable in all the world, Isaac loves Brussels sprouts.

So when we were planning the garden, there was little doubt that we would need to plant a little plot of tiny cabbages.  But I wanted to grow something different.  We settled on Falstaff.

Falstaff is in my opinion tied with the Blue Coco bean as the most beautiful plant in our garden.  It is a red-purple sprout (apparently the color becomes more intense after a frost and is retained in cooking), and the leaves are just gorgeous.  They remind me of stained glass.

And now that they are maturing, we’ve discovered Falstaff’s other graceful attribute: They’re delicious!  I trimmed the plants’ tops this weekend in the vain hope that it will help encourage sprout formation.  We got an entire basketful of loosely formed sprouts and small leaves.

After a quick search of the internet I had confirmed that not only are Brussels sprout leaves edible, some people actually prefer them to the sprouts.  So last night after work, Isaac browned some onions and garlic, added the last Czech Black Pepper and the sliced sprout leaves.  We then tossed them with buttered whole wheat egg noodles, a little lemon juice and poppy seeds (at the back of my mind I was thinking of this recipe of Molly’s I think).

It was delicious.  We both had seconds, and to me, somehow, the combination of butter, cabbage, poppy seeds and noodles magically tasted like blue cheese.  So now we have a conundrum.  When we grow sprouts next year, do we grow them for the sprouts, or for the leaves?


3 Responses to “Falstaff”

  1. Christina September 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    My favorite part of Brussels sprouts is the mop of sweet leaves that grows from the top of the sprouting stem. One of the vendors at my market cuts off the top of the stems and saves that mop of leaves just for me. So good.

    Brussels sprouts that magically taste like blue cheese? Sounds pretty incredible.

  2. A. Carter and P. Chapple September 28, 2009 at 5:52 am #

    How delicious, fresh brussels sprouts. Their leaves are so beautiful too!

  3. ann October 1, 2009 at 7:15 am #

    Christina — That’s exactly what we were eating! They’re so delicious. And I think it was the poppy seeds that made them taste like blue cheese, it was so weird. And AC & PC, they are pretty aren’t they? I love having a garden that is both tasty and pretty.

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