Kalettes, Lollipop Kale, BrusselKale
What is it?
Kale sprouts, a hybrid of Russian red kale and Brussels sprouts, combine the best of both. Imagine kale’s thick leaves and peppery flavor paired with the sweet nuttiness and adorable size of Brussels sprouts. Some things are popular for good reason. Kale sprouts first came on the market in England in 2012 under the name Flower Sprouts. They were developed using natural breeding processes by British company Tozer Seeds. But because the plants require a lot of care to grow, they’ve been slow to take off. Demand is increasing, though, and kale sprouts are gradually becoming available in many well-stocked grocery stores.
How to choose:
Firm is better. Kale sprouts are often sold in sealed bags, so keep an eye out for sturdy-looking leaves with bright color and no wilting. They’ll keep for up to five days in the refrigerator.
How to prep:
Kale sprouts are delicious roasted, sautéed, or braised and served as a side dish or tossed with pasta. Blanched, they’re also great on skewers for the grill or on a pizza. The leaves can be plucked and used raw in salads—as with kale, just massage them with dressing to tenderize them.
Aged cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano and fontina and nuts like pine nuts or walnuts highlight kale sprouts’ nuttiness. They have a pleasantly bitter undertone that’s balanced by acidic ingredients, like lemon, or sweet flavors, like brown butter.
This pizza highlights all the best in kale sprouts: Pine nuts and fontina splay off their nutty flavor, while goat cheese adds creamy tang and rosemary enhances their pepperiness.