Brassica oleracea, Gemmifera group
October - November
Beginning in the early fall, you may start seeing a very strange looking vegetable at your local farmers market—tiny green “cabbages” sprouting from a thick stalk. Brought over by the French in the 18th century, Brussels sprouts are a cool weather plant; planting too early in the summer can lead to bitter sprouts. And since Brussels sprouts will keep for several weeks after being removed from the stalks, and longer if left on the stalk, they are the perfect antidote during those long, winter months when we Wisconsinites are starved for something green.
Check out Dani Lind's Cooking Fresh article, "Brussels Sprouts: The Unexpected Culinary Swan."
Nutrition: Brussels sprouts are quite the workhorse when it comes to nutrition. They contain high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese. They are also a good source of dietary fiber. Like other members of the Brassica genus such as broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts also contain a number of chemical compounds that are thought to have strong anticancer properties.