Introducing: Cabbage sprouts! And not prepared just any old way! Roasted in duck fat, baby!
I get a little crazy when I see a new vegetable on the horizon because I’ve probably told you once or twice that I have yet to meet a vegetable I don’t like.
One morning not long ago, I was heading to Whole Foods to shop for a client. I passed by a local green grocer who has been in business in the Memphis area for close to forever. Their marquee read: “Cabbage sprouts are here.”
I about blew my brakes out because evidently cabbage sprouts were a big deal! Stopping wasn’t an option because I had to shop and get to the client’s home. However, I headed back the next day. I couldn’t wait to find out what a cabbage sprout was!
This. This is a cabbage sprout.
After a head of cabbage is harvested, the grower allows the plant to remain in the ground. The cabbage plant then produces these little sprouts from around where the head was. Some really smart person somewhere decided to harvest and sell them.
Here’s more information on cabbage sprouts from Mark Bittman. The ones pictured on his website are quite small and resemble Brussels sprouts. The ones I found are approximately the size of an average hand.
At the green grocer, I came upon two Southern ladies who were eagerly filling up bags to purchase and I got an education on cabbage sprouts.
They’re only available once a year for a short time and when they’re gone, they’re gone. These ladies braise them like collards, mustard or turnip greens and described them as sweeter with a lighter flavor than cabbage.
Oh sure, I could have braised them, but these limited release veggies called for a more royal treatment. Olive oil? Too ordinary. Time to get out the duck fat, baby! Duck fat gives everything the royal treatment!
Duck fat is available at gourmet stores and a little goes a long way. Be sure to keep it refrigerated. If you happen upon a large quantity, liquefy it over low heat, then transfer to small containers and freeze it.
You don’t want to use a lot here, otherwise, the cabbage sprouts will be greasy. Cabbage sprouts vary in size so use your judgment as to how much to use. Two tablespoons worked well for a sheet pan full of cabbage sprouts.
Lovely, lovely! Let’s hear it for cabbage sprouts and I hope they become mainstream soon! Cabbage wedges roasted in duck fat would be equally delicious!
Introducing: Cabbage sprouts! And not prepared any old way: Duck Fat Roasted Cabbage Sprouts!
5 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
1 pound cabbage sprouts, halved if large (or cabbage wedges)
2-3 tablespoons liquefied duck fat
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cabbage sprouts on a large baking sheet (lined with foil if desired).
Drizzle the liquefied duck fat over the cabbage sprouts and gently rub the fat over each one of the sprouts, covering as much area as possible, but not overdoing it. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, to taste.
Roast for 20 minutes. Turn them over and roast another 10 minutes or to desired doneness.