Market Watch: Brussels Sprout Leaves

Learn about a unique find from the farmers market: Brussels sprout leaves.

Leave it to a local farmer to give new life to a part of a plant that is usually tossed in the trash (or the compost). Discover the seasonal beauty of the leaves of the Brussels sprout plant.

What are they?

Think of these as Brussels sprout rabe (as in the more mainstream broccoli rabe). These large and flat, fanned-out leaves emerge from the top of a stalk of Brussels sprouts — the actual sprouts grow off the lower portion of the stalk.

Easily confused with collard greens, these leaves have a sweet, milder flavor with a hint of Brussels sprouts yet not as cabbage-y. The leaves are also more tender than collards, so they require less cooking time.

What can you do with them?
  • Stack, slice and saute the leaves with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.
  • Steam then whole, then stuff and roll — they make a healthy vessel for your favorite sandwich fixings.
  • Add them raw or gently steamed to smoothies and green drinks.
  • Shred and use the leaves in slaws and salads.
  • Ferment the Brussels sprout leaves in a homemade batch of kimchi.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

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