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Chinese Kale/broccoli, peas

2008/08/17

In the garden, We’ve grown some Gai Lan (aka Kai Lan, Gai Laan); Chinese Kale or Broccoli – Brassica oleracea . Yummy! ….although the caterpillars love it as well. Fry with lots of garlic.

Soaking in water makes cabbages crisper (due to hydration of cells). Chopping increases the liberation of flavour compounds, but avoid overcooking as this turns the sulphur compounds into trisulfides = rotten cabbage smell. (see McGee p322-3).

My peas have suffered from slugs and caterpillars; particularly the caterpillars.

Insect eaten peas

Insect eaten peas

Still, we did have some lovely (if a small portion) mange tout. Blanched then stirred into semi-caramelised onions.

Mange Tout

Mange Tout

Fresh peas and beans are much sweeter than supermarket ones, as the peas have not used up the stored sugar that they will use up sitting on a shelf or being driven (or flown) around…

Legume seeds are tasty as they’ve collected sugars, amino acids and other nutrients from the plants but haven’t yet packed them into tasteless starch.

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