Kalettes, a new vegetable: kale and brussels sprouts merge

It's not every day you come across a new vegetable. Kalettes aren’t just new to me, they are new to the world. The cross between kale and Brussels sprouts was developed by Tozer Seeds, a British vegetable breeding company. In an effort to re-energize Brussels sprouts sales, Tozer started working on the hybrid 15 years ago — long before sprouts came back into fashion and kale became the “it” vegetable. (Note: The hybrid was achieved using traditional crossbreeding; no genetic modification required.)

Kalettes are little leafy heads that grow on a thick stem like Brussels sprouts do. But the heads themselves, loose and composed of frilly, green-purple leaves, resemble kale. The taste is milder than most kale and, unlike Brussels sprouts, they don’t have to be blanched or halved or sliced before being roasted or sauteed.

I tossed the Kalettes into a pan with some olive oil and garlic and sauteed them for five minutes. The leaves deepened in color but lost very little volume — unlike, say, spinach or chard, which sauté down to practically nothing. Both taste and texture were very satisfying; I think this vegetable has legs.

Trader Joe’s is selling Kalettes as “Kale Sprouts.” An 8-ounce bag costs $3.49.