Out of all the vegetables I never thought I would appreciate – the Brussel sprout is number one. Television taught me that this vegetable was discusting. Maybe that has to do with a generation of cooks that boiled them to death, so that not only did it taste like death, but made the entire house smell like death. It wasn’t eating one that turned me off to them as I had no memories whatsoever of even trying one (or maybe it was so bad, my mind blocked it out). Kale is another vegetable on this list, mainly because of my lack of knowledge of it’s existence for most of my life. So I could borrow a DeLoren from Doc Brown and travel back to meet my younger self and tell him that a day will come when I (or you) will be geedy with excitement for a vegetable that is combination of kale and Brussel sprouts, my younger self would be completely confused. Trust me, my present and future self will always be excited whenever Kalettes are on the table for dinner.
What is a Kalette?
A Kalette is a trademarked name for a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts. It is used by multiple growers/shippers including 4Earth Farms, Classic Salads, Mann packing, Ocean Mist farms (the ones I recently bought), Southern Specialties, and WP Raw. I have heard them called Kale sprouts, which is the term I most often use. I also heard lollipop kale or flower sprouts in the UK. They grow just like Brussels sprouts – on a stalk. Instead of producing tight little green balls, the plant produces open leaves that look just like baby kale.
What Does a Kalette taste like?
It has the tenderness you expect from a Brussel sprout yet with the flavor of kale without being too bitter. Kalettes are are sweet and nutty. If you like either of these vegetables, then this is a must try for you.
Are Kalettes GMO?
They were created through cross-breeding. They were not genetically engineered in a laboratory, by doing something with the DNA of the plant. The majority of plants that people consider GMO are created to resist the application of a pesticide. Kalettes were created through traditional breeding methods where you take one plant, cross it with another until you get the results you are looking for.
How to Cook Kalettes
I have been cooking these for a couple years now. My favorite method has been a simple sautee. Heat some oil in the bottom of a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the Kalettes. Cook until softened. You can add a little water to the bottom of the pan and cover them to help steam them a bit to make them more tender. Pull before their color starts to turn duller. They should be firm, but not crunchy. It only takes 5-8 minutes to cook them this way. I like to add a squirt of lemon juice at the end (would be best with Meyer lemons or the new Lemonade lemon). You can sautee them with some fresh garlic and freshly cracked black pepper as well. Roasting them is another great option – this method will bring out the sweetness of the vegetable. Roast them at 450 degrees until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle them with oil and season with salt and pepper. They really don’t need a lot of seasoning to be good.
You may find them in a microwavable bag. I really don’t like this method though. You can’t caramelize them in a microwave. It is the quickest way to do it. Your better off having the patience to use one of the methods I mentioned above. The microwave option would be for lunch break at work when you only have a microwave and want to make your co-workers jealous that you are eating the latest in vegetables.
Where to Find Kalettes
Good news everyone! Kalettes are becoming more and more popular. I have them at Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s (as Kale Sprouts), Meijer, and the Andersons market. Where have you found them? Leave a comment below telling us where you buy Kalettes or Kale Sprouts.