These include all the varieties that form a head – green, white (sometimes called Dutch), spring and Savoy cabbages, white and purple cauliflower, broccoli, purple and white sprouting broccoli, Brussels sprouts. Red cabbage is best casseroled or pickled.

To prepare and boil brassicas

  1. Remove any damaged or discoloured leaves.
  2. Cut cabbages in half and remove the thick central core. Shred the leaves. Separate cauliflower or broccoli into small florets, discarding any thick stump. Small heads, such as sprouting broccoli and Brussels sprouts, may be left whole.
  3. Put about 2.5 cm/1 in water in a saucepan with a pinch of salt. Put the pan over a high heat until it is boiling rapidly.
  4. Add the brassicas and boil over a high heat until they are just tender but still with some texture. This will take about 3–5 minutes.
  5. Strain in a colander in the sink or over a bowl if you want the cooking water for gravy.

To prepare and steam brassicas

  1. Prepare as for boiling.
  2. Place in a steamer or colander over a pan of simmering water.
  3. Cover and cook until just tender.