Brussels sprouts look like miniature cabbages, and in fact the two vegetables belong to the same species. Brussels sprouts are at their best from late summer through early spring. When buying them, avoid those that are dry or yellowed. The sprouts should be bright green with tightly packed leaves.
Cabbage is available year round, and there are several different varieties. Italians use both ordinary white cabbage, called cavolo cappuccio, and Savoy cabbage, which is called verza. Savoy cabbage has soft, pale green, crinkled leaves and is slightly milder.
Whichever cabbage you use, avoid any with yellowed or limp leaves.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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