For Immediate Release
October 19, 2011
It is Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower Season
The cooler weather of fall promotes the best growth of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower – crops that are not only “Simply Delicious” but also “Simply Nutritious”. Cabbage is grown on about 1,200 acres in Pennsylvania, ranking the state twelveth in the nation. Roughly 180 acres of broccoli and 100 acres of cauliflower, mostly in small acreages, are grown across the state. The harvest of these three cabbage family crops is well underway and will continue until winter sets in.
Home-grown Pennsylvania broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are all nutritional heavyweights. With high amounts of vitamin A, Vitamin C and dietary fiber plus cancer-fighting indole compounds, broccoli is truly a nutritional superstar. Cabbage and cauliflower also are high in vitamin C and fiber as well as the cancer-fighting indole compounds.
These members of the cabbage family have been linked to decreases in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, peptic ulcers and various kinds of cancer as well as to increases in mental sharpness. The cabbage family is also known as the Cruciferae family because their flowers are shaped like a cross. According to the Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition of the University of California at Berkeley, cruciferous vegetables contain indoles — nitrogen compounds — that seem to protect against cancers of the stomach and large intestine. They also are generally high in fiber and antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids. Antioxidants neutralize the action of free radicals — unstable oxygen molecules — which promote cancer. Cruciferous vegetables also contain compounds that stimulate the release of anticancer enzymes.
Some people object to the odor produced by cooking cruciferous vegetables. The odor is caused by the release of sulfur compounds as these vegetables cook. While boiling cruciferous vegetables in large amounts of water in an open pot will minimize the characteristic strong cabbage taste, it maximizes the loss of nutrients. Steaming, microwaving or quick cooking in small amounts of water minimizes nutrient loss in the cooking process. Of course, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower can all be enjoyed raw by themselves or in salads.
Dietary experts have long recommended including cruciferous vegetables in the diet regularly, at least several times a week. Under the dietary recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (www.choosemyplate.gov), broccoli is listed as one of the dark green vegetables. The guidelines recommend that adult Americans should eat about 1.5 to 2 cups of dark green vegetables per week. Cabbage and cauliflower are included in the list of “other” vegetables. The guidelines recommend consumption of 3.5 to 5 cups of these “other” vegetables each week. The following recipes from the 2011 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious” Vegetable Recipe Contest are tasty ways to include cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower in your menus.
Oriental Cabbage Salad
Serves 6 to 8
5 cups shredded cabbage
1 small red pepper, cut into very thin strips
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup Mandarin oranges
1/2 cup cashew pieces
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt
Pepper flakes, if desired
Combine first seven ingredients in large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the chili sauce, olive oil, honey, rice vinegar, lime juice, and salt. Add to the cabbage mixture and toss to coat.
Submitted Kathy Rohrbaugh, Shrewsbury – First Place Recipe
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Smoked Turkey an Orzo Salad
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 cup cooked orzo
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 cup fresh cauliflower florets
1 cup thick-cut smoked turkey or turkey ham, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons jarred or freshly roasted roasted red peppers, diced
2 tablespoons super fine or granulated sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
Pinch of oregano, optional
1/4 cup olive oil
Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain. Steam or blanch broccoli and cauliflower in boiling water about two minutes or until crisp tender. Drain. Combine broccoli, cauliflower, turkey, and roasted red peppers. Mix together. Add orzo and stir to combine. Set aside. In a separate bowl, prepare mustard vinaigrette. Wisk together sugar and vinegar until sugar is dissolved. Add whole grain mustard and mix. Add garlic, basil, dry mustard and oregano (if desired). Mix. Slowly whisk in the olive oil one tablespoon at a time. Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad. Toss to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until serving time to allow flavors to blend.
Submitted by Cindy Kerschner, Schnecksville
Fruited and Curried Cole Slaw
3 cups knife-shredded cabbage (or cole slaw mix) 1 Red Delicious apple, cored and diced
1 large rib celery, diced
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 can (8-ounce) pineapple chunks, un-drained
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon oil, extra light olive oil preferred
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon curry powder (or to taste)
Dash of salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Chill at least 15 minutes before serving.
Submitted by Frances Dietz, York
Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese
1 head of cauliflower (approx. 11/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup parsley
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cut cauliflower into florets (about 5 cups). In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add cauliflower and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir for 5 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat and season to taste with black pepper. Stir in parsley, sprinkle with Parmesan and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Submitted by Brenda Trowbridge, York
Quick Buying Tips for Pennsylvania Broccoli
The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program offers these tips when buying fresh broccoli:
— Choose tightly-packed heads.
— Stalks should be green with dark green or purplish-green, not yellow, buds.
— Refrigerate in an open plastic bag.
Quick Buying Tips for Pennsylvania Cabbage
The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program offers these tips when buying fresh cabbage:
— Select firm, compact heads.
— Choose heads that are free of yellow, wilted or splitting leaves.
— Avoid cutting cabbage until just before use.
Quick Buying Tips for Pennsylvania Cauliflower
The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program offers these tips when buying fresh cauliflower:
— Select tight heads with a white or cream appearance.
— Avoid heads that are loose, spotted or bruised.
— Refrigerate in an open plastic bag.