In season in California: Many greens grow year round, and typically Asian greens like bok choy are in season now and bigger greens like cabbage are ready – and sweeter – in winter months. Look for whatever is available that week at your local farmers’ market, as those greens will not only be at their peak of tastiness but cheaper to buy.
How to choose good greens: There are numerous varieties of greens and tips for picking each. A farmers’ market is a great place to learn these tips. When the person selling the greens you are interested in doesn’t have a line of people, ask questions and learn directly from an expert. “The Old Farmers’ Almanac” breaks down what to look for and avoid in many varieties of greens and the information is also on its website, www.almanc.com. Search for “ripeness guide.”
Taste: Bitter to sweet, cruciferous vegetables have a wide variety of tastes.
Health benefits: “In terms of conventional nutrients (vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs, and fats), we cannot find another vegetable group that is as high in vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber as the cruciferous vegetables," reports the George Mateljan Foundation, a nonprofit group that provides information on healthy eating. “As a group, the cruciferous vegetables are simply superstars in these conventional nutrient areas.”