What is a brassica? Frequent gleaners will know that many familiar vegetables belong to the brassica genus, including cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, plus some more unexpected characters, like radishes and arugula.
With so many examples of tasty and widely available vegetables in the brassica family, it's safe to say that most of us have one brassica or another in our fridges at any given time. These vegetables are also commonly grown on New England farms, where cool spring and autumn weather allow these hardy plants to thrive for much of the year.
When Boston Area Gleaners teams head to the fields to rescue surplus crops each season, the odds are good that if we're gleaning a vegetable, it's a brassica! Cabbage, kale, and collards are three crops that grow prolifically on our partner farms and are popular among the food pantries we work with, too.
But alas, with abundance comes boredom, at least some of the time. What to do with all the cabbage, kale, and, that eternal challenge, kohlrabi that comes through your kitchen? This recipe for Brassica Fritters lets you work with what you've got in your fridge, giving you a creative way to use up odds and ends like kohlrabi and broccoli stems, with added warmth and spice from cumin and paprika. Think of it as a highly non-traditional Gleaner Latke, if you will. Explore the depths of your fridge and discover new ways to enjoy the many members of the brassica family!
adapted from Martha Rose Shulman in NYTimes Cooking