Spring greens are the first cabbages of the year. Not to be confused with other green leaves that grow at this time of year, spring greens are the most accommodating of cabbages. They are similar to a cos lettuce in shape, but looser in form, and without the hard heart found in most other cabbages. If you steam or blanch them in boiling water, spring greens become structurally weaker. They have a silky-soft texture, and taste sweeter and fresher than the robust, hearted cabbages we associate with winter. There’s no need to chop them: you can just serve them whole.
Spring greens belong to the brassica family, whose health benefits are well documented. They provide you with a plentiful useful amount of vitamin C, to support your immune system, and vitamin K, to build bone strength.
They also contain natural compounds, such as sulforaphane and indoles. A body of evidence suggests these plant chemicals have a significant anti-cancer action, and anti-inflammatory properties, which could help protect against heart disease and stroke. To make the most of the nutrients in spring greens, refrigerate them and eat as close to purchase as possible.
Select dark green leaves and avoid any with yellowing edges. Add spring greens at the end of a stir-fry, or use in winter soups and stews. They are delicious sliced, steamed and drizzled with melted butter. Take care not to overcook, as the leaves will develop a rank flavour and smell.
Why not try our latest Spring Greens recipe?
Interested to know where our Spring Greens come from? Find out more about TH Clements, our spring greens grower.