The Wellington Weekly
I’ve made no secret in the past of my admiration of Chinese Napa Cabbage. To me it possesses the best qualities of both a conventional cabbage as well as those of a hardy salad leaf, and can as such be utilised as either. So why, I often find myself asking (to the chagrin, it must be said, of my wife during our most intimate moments) isn’t it more popular than it is. Don’t get me wrong, sales are reasonable, but they deserve to be much higher - and I don’t want the more cynical among you to conclude from this that we’ve got a pallet load of them that we’re trying to get rid of, because we haven’t. I could understand if it was expensive, but, relatively speaking at least, it isn’t. So, what I suggest is that you think of something you might want to do with a cabbage and I’m willing to bet that Chinese cabbage will be more than capable of achieving it.
English Cavalo Nero (Black Cabbage) is stunning and shares many of the abilities associated with the aforementioned Chinese cabbage, inasmuch as it’s tender yet resilient enough to enable it to be stir-fried or used as an ingredient in Mediterranean and oriental-soups.
English Curly Kale, being quite fond of the cold, is currently thriving, and it’s price per kilo is hard to beat. Bear in mind also that although the stems of curly kale can be a bit tough when eaten raw, you don’t need to discard them altogether, and can instead, for example, be pickled, turned into pesto, roasted or braised
Alternatively, you might like to consider 3 other, not-quite-as-curly varieties of English Kale which have started to arrive in the market. They are Red Kale (purple-green leaves with purple-frills and purple veins and stalks), White Kale (white leaves with green frills and white stalks), and Red Russian Kale (ragged pale-green leaves with purple veins and stalks).
Turnip sales are rather buoyant at present, which I don’t think is merely due to the fact that it’s traditionally considered a winter veg, but can perhaps be explained as being a product coming back into favour after having spent an extended period in the culinary wilderness. Swede and Parsnip are also doing well, being both relatively inexpensive and therefore highly recommended.
Did you know that Jerusalem Artichokes are not only not artichokes, but have no direct connection, either botanical or cultural, to the city of Jerusalem whatsoever? They are in fact native to north America and the ‘’Jerusalem’’ attachment is merely a corruption of the word girasole, which is Italian for sunflower - the plant of which the so-called ‘choke is in fact related. Anyway, new season English Jerusalem artichokes, both purple and white varieties, are now in season and available to order.
New season Spanish Fresh Peas have just arrived in the market.
Micro Cresses have really taken off in the last couple of years, and prices have become a lot more affordable to reflect their much wider availability. However, they still couldn’t be regarded as exactly cheap in relative terms and are therefore not an option for the majority of our customers. There are, however, alternative types of non-micro cresses available which are no less exotic but only a fraction of the price. We sell these under the name of English Mixed Cresses, and they’re available in trays of usually 16 punnets. They comprise a selection which are likely to include varieties such as Chilli Cress, Coriander Cress, Garlic Chive, Pea (aka Frizzy Pea) Cress, Leek Cress, Purple Radish, Red Amaranth and Red Mustard Cress. I say ’’likely to include’’ because the selection will vary according to seasonal availability. Unfortunately, I’m unable to provide a photo taken by myself personally, because, at the time of writing, they hadn’t yet arrived in stock (but will be available to order by the time you read this). However, the picture I have provided below depicts a typical selection and affords a good example of what you’re likely to receive.