Cruciferous greens: properties, characteristics and recipes

Nov 10 2022, 08:28 | by Michela Becchi
With all their health benefits, cabbages and broccoli are the main ingredients of this season. Here are a few tips to use them in the kitchen.

Perfect for delicious side dishes and stuffings, cruciferous greens are the stars of this time of year. Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and Savoy cabbage can become the ideal condiments for pasta courses, soups and tasty appetizers. In addition to being useful in the kitchen, these vegetables bring many benefits to the body. Here is a short guide to find out a little more about these healthy and delectable greens.

Cruciferous green: health benefits

Let’s start with the cauliflowers, which have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and are rich in minerals, calcium, iron and fiber. In the kitchen, they lend themselves to numerous preparations: au gratin or steamed, simply seasoned with a little extra virgin olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice, or in the form of puree. Brussels sprouts, on the other hand, are rich in potassium, calcium and phosphorus and give their best with bacon or bechamel (in short, go heavy on the condiments!), or blanched and sautéed in a pan. Then there is Savoy cabbage - smooth or curly, is a concentrate of vitamins A, C and K - and the green cabbage, base for sauerkraut, also available in the purple variety, is full of vitamins and minerals. Then there is the cavolo nero, aka Tuscan kale, with its long dark green leaves, perfect for soups and essential for one of the most popular soups of the Tuscan tradition: ribollita.

Recipe with cruciferous greens: cauliflower soufflé

1 cauliflower (about 1 kg)

50 g Parmesan cheese

3 eggs

1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs


Salt and pepper

50 g butter

40 g flour

4 dl milk


Divide the cauliflower, clean it and boil it in salted water for 15 minutes. Blend it in a mixer, then put the puree in a pan and leti t dry a little. Make the besciamella: cook over low heat the butter and the flour, then add the milk and cook until it becomes creamy, while stirring. Mix the cold besciamella with the cauliflower, add some Parmesan cheese, some nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Divide the egg whites from the yolks, add the egg yolks to the cauliflower. Whisk the egg whites and add them to the mixture. Pour the mixture in a buttered baking tin and cook ita t 180°C for about 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

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