Thursday, December 7, 2023
HomeGardening27 Uncommon and Uncommon Greens to Develop This Season

27 Uncommon and Uncommon Greens to Develop This Season

Tomatoes, zucchini, and kale are enjoyable crops to develop, however possibly you need to spice issues up. Whether or not you’re an adventurous foodie or a curious plant nerd, the vegetable world is stuffed with unique flavors, textures, colours, and shapes you’ve most likely by no means heard of earlier than. Surprisingly, you don’t need to develop in a tropical greenhouse to expertise the eclectic vibrancy of worldwide delicacies. Most uncommon and weird greens can develop as annuals in your common backyard beds!

From alien-like celeriac to psychedelic cauliflower to oyster-flavored roots, there are dozens of uncommon and downright unusual greens to fulfill your longing for novelty within the backyard. Let’s discover 27 bizarre, odd, and scrumptious veggies to do this season!

27 Uncommon Greens for the Adventurous Gardener

A close-up of a pile of heritage varieties of black and watermelon radish roots. The radishes are different shapes and sizes, and they are all sitting on top of each other. The radishes are also different colors, with some being black and others being watermelon-colored.
Creativity and experimentation can open a world of implausible coloration and taste in your backyard.

As an natural vegetable farmer, I’ve grown virtually each “common” vegetable you’ll be able to think about. Somewhat than planting 100 acres of cabbage or corn, the veggie farms I’ve labored with prioritize range above all else. On one Oregon farm, we grew over 100 completely different varieties of fifty completely different crops in a single season! 

Evidently, sustaining a vibrant farmer’s market stand year-round requires some creativity and experimentation. Plain outdated potatoes and candy corn get boring quick, and so they don’t supply many alternatives for crop rotation. Furthermore, cooking turns into much more thrilling when you could have distinctive international elements to mess around with.

These distinctive and bizarre greens will not be mainstream in America, however they make broccoli and carrots appear comparatively boring. In the event you’re uninterested in rising the identical factor yearly, otherwise you need to broaden your recipe choices, don’t miss out on these 27 uncommon and weird vegetable crops!

1. Celeriac

Emerging from the rich, dark soil, a thriving celeriac plant displays its unique, bulbous form. The green stems and branches gracefully fan out from the top, adorned with vibrant green leaves, promising a bountiful harvest.
This alien-looking relative of celery can thrive in chilly climate and is a breeze to domesticate.

This celery relative seems to be like an alien planted it in your backyard! It’s cold-hardy, straightforward to develop, and excellent for autumn and winter stews or roasts. This root tastes like a comfy, savory rooster soup, with a taste between potatoes, mushrooms, turnips, and celery. The feel is starchy and {smooth} when cooked, like a potato and turnip had a child.

Celeriac is often known as celery root, knob celery, or turnip-rooted celery. It’s a conventional winter vegetable grown all through Europe. It may be utilized in an enormous number of cold-weather recipes, from soups and stews to gratins and slaws. The starchy white flesh and knobby yellow-green skins are funky and asteroid-like. The tops look just like celery or parsley.

One of the best celeriac varieties will scale back pithiness and keep a stable coronary heart. The vegetation don’t face many pests or illnesses if correctly rotated with different crops that aren’t within the parsley household. Better of all, these roots add range to your winter storage brigade. Once you’re uninterested in consuming butternut squash and potatoes all winter, celeriac involves the rescue! With correct harvest (leaving a few of the stem base intact), these roots may be saved within the fridge for a whopping 6-8 months. 

This can be a long-season crop requiring as much as 100 days to mature. Remember to sow in late spring after the prospect of frost has handed, and temperatures are persistently above 55°F. Like celery, celeriac requires constant moisture and pretty gentle climate. It loves loamy, well-drained soil with loads of compost.

2. Cucamelon

A close-up reveals a lush green branch adorned with cascading cucamelons, resembling tiny green mouse melons. Their petite size is complemented by the vibrant green leaves, creating a picturesque scene of nature's abundance.
Coaching the vines upwards is really useful to maintain cucamelon fruit off the bottom.

Also called gherkins or Mexican bitter gherkins, these lovely grape-sized fruits seem like child watermelons and style like tart cucumbers. The 1” fruits develop on vines that develop as much as 10 toes lengthy—good for a vertical backyard or patio trellis! You’ll be able to take pleasure in cucamelons contemporary or pickled, however I particularly love popping them in my mouth straight off the vine. They’ve a tangy citrus overtone that’s refreshing on a sizzling summer season day.

This cucumber household crop is native to Mexico and Central America. It’s typically referred to as sandía ratón (“mouse melon”) or sandita (“little watermelon”). Good for container gardening, only a few vines will produce an abundance of little treats all summer season. 

They like heat climate and loamy soil, and you may develop them like cucumbers. The vines are finest skilled upwards to maintain the fruit off the bottom. Strive the cultivar ‘Mouse Melon’ for quick-maturing, high-yielding vines. At simply 70 days to maturity, they’re good for short-season areas.

3. ‘Crimson Kuri’ Squash

A close-up view captures the 'Red Kuri' Squash, with its vibrant orange hue hanging from a verdant branch. The broad green leaves cradle the squash, creating a stunning image of nature's bounty.
The ‘Crimson Kuri’ squash from Japan is flavor-packed and has a vibrant orange coloration and distinctive teardrop form.

This Japanese winter squash has a uncommon teardrop form and vibrantly orange coloration. The candy taste and creamy texture are the proper substitutes for squash or pumpkin dishes. You most likely received’t use pumpkins once more when you puree a ‘Crimson Kuri’ squash into your soup or pie. In Japanese, kuri means “chestnut,” an ideal tribute to this squash’s uniquely nutty-tasting notes.

Crimson Kuri’ is usually referred to as ‘Orange Hokkaido’ or ‘Child Crimson Hubbard’ and is native to Argentina and Uruguay. This frost-sensitive squash is grown precisely like different winter squash varieties. The 4-6’ lengthy vines are compact sufficient for a small backyard and may be skilled to ramble the place you please. The vigorous vegetation take about 95 days to mature their pear-shaped fruits, which common 3-7 kilos, and have vivid orange pores and skin with yellow-orange flesh.

4. Sorrel

A close-up of vibrant sorrel leaves, thriving in dark, fertile soil, showcases the plant's rich green foliage. The large, healthy leaves epitomize nature's vitality, inviting thoughts of freshness and growth.
Sorrel is a vibrant inexperienced leafy vegetable that has been a favourite in England and France for hundreds of years.

This inexperienced has been well-liked in England and France for hundreds of years however is hardly recognized within the U.S. Sorrel is among the first greens within the spring and the final within the fall, competing with spinach for the prize of cold-hardy greens. However these leaves have far more zest than spinach! The intense, lemony taste is tangy and attractive.

The arrow-shaped crinkly sorrel leaves develop 6-8” tall and take 60 days to mature, or faster in case you want child greens. As a member of the Polygonaceae, or buckwheat household, sorrel is nice for crop rotations as a result of not many different crops are associated to it (besides rhubarb and buckwheat). Container gardeners ought to prioritize this high-yielding, compact inexperienced for a citrusy spring shock!

Whether or not you select red-veined or customary inexperienced varieties, these spring greens are additional excessive in vitamin C and develop very nicely in colder zones. Sorrel is the proper praise to fish or salads and tastes delectable, contemporary or sauteed. Many mixologists even incorporate the zesty citrus leaves into cocktails! 

5. Mache (Corn Salad)

A close-up of Mache (Corn Salad) leaves, glistening with moisture, reveals their lush green color. The fertile, dark soil provides the perfect foundation for these thriving leaves, symbolizing the beauty of natural growth.
This sturdy plant faces minimal insect and illness issues.

Mache is a delightfully tender cold-weather inexperienced that survives temperatures all the way down to 10°F. Once I farmed within the Pacific Northwest, this was our most decadent winter inexperienced. I first found mache whereas working for a German horticulturist. In her hometown within the countryside of northern Germany, this inexperienced typically sprung up in winter corn fields, which is reportedly the way it bought its nickname “corn salad.”

The buttery-smooth, rounded mache leaves are a pleasure to eat, contemporary or barely wilted. I really like a easy mache salad with olive oil and balsamic. The rosettes may be harvested entire at floor stage, or you’ll be able to reduce 2” above the bottom for a constant “reduce and are available once more” harvest. The vegetation simply regrow and supply omega-3-rich salad greens all through the cool seasons.

A member of Caprifoliaceae, or the honeysuckle household, that is one other inexperienced that’s nice for crop rotation as not many greens are associated to it. Mache has nearly no insect or illness points to talk of, and it performs exceptionally nicely in winter, spring, and fall. It grows simply from seed. Keep away from rising it in the summertime! 

6. Kohlrabi

On a wooden table, whole kohlrabi bulbs are displayed, featuring green skin and delicate shoots emerging from the sides. The scenery reveals the essence of earthy produce ready for culinary delight.
Kohlrabi’s bulbs usually sport a layer of sturdy cabbage-like leaves on prime.

You’ll have seen these funky sputnik-shaped veggies on the farmer’s market. Many individuals are turned off by kohlrabi as a result of they don’t know learn how to cook dinner it or harvest it too massive.

I want child kohlrabi (about tennis-ball measurement or smaller) as a result of it’s extra tender, crisp, and juicy than the massive ones. Once you harvest them small, they’ve a gentle cabbage-like taste with nutty undertones and the candy texture of an apple. I’m obsessive about kohlrabi coleslaw! 

Kohlrabi is a member of the Brassicaceae household, together with broccoli, cabbage, turnips, and kale. The title kohlrabi comes from the German time period for “cabbage turnip.” The bulbs may be inexperienced or purple and often have a layer of stiff cabbage-like leaves up prime. In the event you’ve ever grown turnip or rutabagas, kohlrabi is a breeze to seed and have a tendency. It’s a nice, various addition to your fall crop repertoire.

Strive ‘Purple Vienna’ kohlrabi or combine issues up with ‘Purple Kohlrabi Sprouts’ you can develop as nutrient-dense microgreens. 

7. Cardoon

A close-up of the cardoon plant unveils its captivating light purple flowers and unique structural heads. Sturdy branches and vibrant green leaves provide a striking contrast in this display of nature's artistry.
Cardoon is an thrilling addition as a consequence of its large and visually interesting stature.

You’ve heard of artichokes and pricked your finger on gnarly thistle, however have you ever heard of artichoke thistle? Also called cardoon or Cynara cardunculus, this edible Mediterranean vegetable is carefully associated to each vegetation however has extra prized culinary makes use of in southern Europe and North Africa.

The inside leaves and stalks are often blanched, yielding a mildly candy, earthy chunk with a taste just like celeriac, sunchokes, or artichoke hearts. You may also take pleasure in them uncooked as a crunch celery-like appetizer with dip. 

Cardoon is thrilling within the backyard as a result of it’s a large, aesthetically pleasing plant with decorative worth. It’s perennial in zones 7-10 or an annual in colder climates. You’ll be able to technically eat the spiky purple flowers, however the stalks are a culinary delicacy. French cooks typically serve olive-oil marinated cardoon stems as a substitute of artichokes in lots of dishes.  

Small-space gardeners, beware! Cardoon is a large plant that wants a minimum of 3-4 sq. toes of area per plant.

8. Shiso

On a wooden surface, Shiso leaves are prominently displayed, showcasing their vibrant green color and serrated edges. The leaves' exquisite detailing adds a touch of elegance to the scene.
Shiso grows in medium to wealthy sandy soils, making a dense mat resembling mint.

No herb backyard is full with out this versatile Asian delight! Typically referred to as Japanese basil, beefsteak plant, or perilla, this herb is scrumptious, whether or not contemporary or pickled. In the event you take pleasure in cooking Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese delicacies, this distinctive taste is among the secret elements to make it style just like the sushi, tempura, or noodles you like at genuine eating places. The distinctive clove or cinnamon-like taste is complemented by a spicy cumin flare. 

Shiso is an fragrant herb within the mint household. It has heart-shaped leaves with jagged edges and a beautiful upright progress. You’ll be able to develop it in medium to wealthy sandy soils, forming a thick mat just like mint. Fortuitously, it’s not practically as aggressive as mint, however it readily self-seeds and will unfold in areas with gentle winters. The simplest prevention is rising in a container or frequently harvesting so the flowers don’t type seedheads.

Shiso is available in green-leaf and red-leaf (purple) varieties. These ‘Inexperienced and Crimson Shiso Perilla’ seeds make it straightforward to take pleasure in a mix of each! 

9. ‘Romanesco’

A close-up captures the mesmerizing Romanesco head, adorned with its light green, fractal-like structure. Dark green leaves elegantly encircle the head, creating an image that's both visually captivating and appetizing.
It’s necessary to notice that ‘Romanesco’ doesn’t carry out nicely in scorching summer season temperatures.

Some farmers joke that ‘Romanesco’ seems to be like a cauliflower or broccoli that takes acid. The psychedelic swirls and fractal patterns of ‘Romanesco’ are certainly a sight! 

These uniquely conical cauliflower heads are usually neon inexperienced and oh-so-tasty! The flavour is just like broccoli however extra gentle and nutty. The feel is like cauliflower however much more crispy when roasted or baked, due to the sharp edges (don’t fear, they received’t prick your mouth).

First cultivated by Sixteenth-century Italian gardeners, ‘Romanesco’ is now a fan favourite amongst gourmand cooks. This Brassica-family crop is ideal for planting in late summer season for a fall harvest.

You’ll be able to develop it within the spring, however the heads could have bother forming if the climate warms too rapidly. This isn’t a superb crop for areas with excessive summer season warmth! Like its broccoli and cauliflower cousins, ‘Romanesco’ enjoys cool climate, fertile soil, and constant moisture.

10. Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke)

A hand holds Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke) tubers, each covered in brown soil. In the background, the fertile soil provides a reminder of the plant's humble origins, highlighting the tubers' natural appeal.
Sunchokes are prolific tuber producers and can fortunately return 12 months after 12 months.

A relative of the sunflower, sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes are an unimaginable multifunctional plant so as to add to any backyard. They yield high quality carbohydrate-rich tubers underground and provide pollinators with plentiful flower pollen aboveground. These uncommon sunflower family are very prolific and low-maintenance. The vegetation don’t fall sufferer to many pests or illnesses; they reliably come again yearly!

An herbaceous perennial, it grows as much as 10 toes tall and stays wintery hardy in zones 3-9. Above the soil stage, sunchokes seem like a bit well-branched sunflower forest with vibrant yellow blooms. Some folks say the flowers scent like chocolate or vanilla! However the edible tubers are what we’re actually after. They style nutty and starchy, like a potato combined with a mushroom. The marginally candy undertones are just like water chestnuts. 

They’re very inulin-rich and typically lovingly dubbed “fartichokes” as a result of you could be a bit gassy in case you eat too many! This may be nice for anybody who must rev up their digestion, however you don’t need to overdo it. Nonetheless, they’re a tasty and easy-to-grow meals staple price including to your backyard you probably have area and a way of containing them. 

11. Watermelon Radish

On a wooden table, a whole and a sliced Watermelon Radish are displayed, revealing their stunning pink centers. Against a backdrop of lush greenery, the radishes' vibrant colors stand out as a testament to nature's diversity.
Watermelon radishes boast a barely candy and peppery style with a satisfying crunch.

In the event you’re uninterested in common purple radishes, watermelon radishes are a cheery heirloom addition to spring or fall harvests. This heirloom number of the Chinese language daikon has an excellent vivid pink inside with pale greenish-white pores and skin, therefore the title reference to watermelons. 

These radishes style barely candy and peppery with a crisp chunk, good for cheese boards, dips, pickles, salads, soups, and roasting. I particularly love thinly sliced watermelon radishes with goat cheese slices and purple wine! Yum!

Not like extra-elongated white daikons or spherical golf-ball salad radishes, watermelon radishes are someplace in between. They’re stout, hardy, and simple to develop within the cool seasons of spring or fall. These roots have more durable skins than common salad radishes, so you’ll be able to retailer them within the fridge for a number of months by means of the winter. 

12. Taro

On a wooden table, large taro roots are presented, some sliced to reveal their light pink centers. The taro roots exude a sense of earthiness and culinary potential, surrounded by large, green leaves.
This tropical plant performs nicely in gardens in zones 8-10 however can be grown as an indoor houseplant.

You’ll have heard of taro in case you’ve ever had boba tea. This tropical wetland plant is well-liked in Africa and South Asia. Taro root seems to be like a furry ringed potato with pink or white flesh. The corms (offshoots of the central tuber) are eaten steamed, boiled, fried, roasted, or mashed, yielding an analogous texture to potatoes. Taro can be used as a paste, powder, and flour. Hawaiians eat taro at conventional luaus in a mashed dish referred to as poi. The leaves are additionally edible!

The large, lovely foliage of taro is paying homage to many tropical houseplants. This candy root is a member of the Araceae, or arum household, together with pothos, philodendron, and calla lilies. This tropical native grows in zones 8-10 or may be saved as a houseplant. 

Mature vegetation attain as much as 3-6 toes huge, so that you want loads of room for this uncommon veggie!

13. ‘Chioggia’ Beets

A vibrant red Chiogga beet bulb rests on a gleaming wet stone tray, showcasing its earthy allure. Three delicate Chiogga beet slices lie beside the bulb, revealing their captivating concentric rings of red and white.
‘Chioggia’ has distinct striped flesh that basically stands out.

Beets aren’t something uncommon, however these candy-cane striped beetroots are a putting ingredient in roasts, gratins, and any sliced vegetable dish. This pre-1840 heirloom comes from Italy and is usually referred to as sweet stripe beet or bullseye beet. The alternating concentric rings of purple and white are enjoyable to take a look at, however the candy style is even higher!

‘Chioggia’ are milder and extra tender than common purple beets. They cook dinner extra rapidly and don’t stain your countertop! Like all beets, the greens are additionally edible. The important thing to profitable beet rising is constant water and temperature moderation. I wish to put a row cowl over early seedlings and irrigate with drip strains.

14. Chayote Squash

A single chayote squash dangles gracefully from its sturdy vine, its vibrant green hue glistening in the sunlight. The lush leaves surrounding it create a natural canopy, providing shade and shelter for the ripening fruit.
The benefit of rising chayote is that it’s perennial and a heavy producer in zones 8-11.

Add this squash to your cucurbit patch in case you love conventional Latin delicacies! Chayote is a nobby pear-shaped squash that tastes just like uncooked zucchini but in addition crisp and subtly candy like a cucumber. It was first cultivated in Central America and may be very well-liked in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. Chayote can be utilized in many Asian stir-fry dishes and lends itself nicely to just about any recipe the place you’d use zucchini.

The advantage of rising chayote along with your summer season squash is it’s a perennial plant in zones 8-11. The plant naturally prefers tropical areas with sizzling summers however may also develop in hotter microclimates of temperate areas. 

The plant loves loamy, well-drained soil and requires a sturdy trellis to carry all its weight. One plant averages as much as 60 kilos of pear-shaped, scrumptious fruits!

15. Nopales

A cluster of green nopales thrives under the warm, golden sunlight, their paddle-shaped leaves glistening in the rays. Each cactus sports sharp, needle-like spikes, ready to protect the succulent plant from potential threats.
Prickly pear nopales are utilized in varied culinary functions as soon as their spiny pores and skin is eliminated.

We generally consider cacti as houseplants or rock backyard ornamentals, however these cacti are scrumptious superfoods! Nopales is the culinary title for the pads of the prickly pear cactus. The cacti are sometimes grown as ornamentals, and pads (fleshy leaf constructions) may be harvested with gloves, then pickled, juiced, or cooked. 

Some cultures use prickly pear nopales for jams, candies, syrups, jellies, and wines. As soon as the spiny pores and skin or bristly hairs are eliminated, the inside of those cacti pads is remarkably tasty

This can be a very giant genus with practically 60 species of nice range:

  • Opuntia humifusa is a cold-tolerant, sprawling, prickly pear cactus native to the Jap U.S.
  • Opuntia microdasys is usually referred to as “angel’s wing” and is native to the Southwestern U.S.
  • Texas prickly pear (Opuntia engelmannii) is popularly utilized in nopales tacos and juices.

Relying on the variability you select, this large perennial can attain as much as 4 toes huge and 10+ toes tall! That is the proper plant for a xeriscape or irrigation-free decorative mattress the place you additionally need to harvest edible goodies. Like most succulents, the vegetation are undeniably drought-tolerant and simple to propagate.

16. Black Spanish Radish

Two freshly harvested black radishes rest on a bed of rich brown soil. The radishes appear plump and robust. Green leaves crown the radishes, providing a vivid contrast to the dark, root vegetables.
‘Black Spanish’ radishes have a novel, extra-spicy taste and uncommon black pores and skin.

The spicy ‘Black Spanish’ radish is one other distinctive Brassica root that differs tremendously from its easter egg radish cousins. These are additional spicy and crisp with darkish black pores and skin—black is a uncommon coloration within the plant world! I really like them sliced thinly with a topper of cheese or hummus unfold to stability out the kick! They’re additionally nice when thinly grated right into a slaw. They aren’t as spicy as a sizzling pepper. Somewhat, they’ve a pointy taste paying homage to horseradish.

‘Black Spanish’ radishes take about 50 days to mature and benefit from the cool climate of spring or fall. Sizzling climate will make them much more spicy, however cooking reduces the depth of the basis. Nutritionists and docs favor one of these radish for its distinctive digestive and liver advantages, however we develop it for its additional spicy taste and uncommon black coloration! 

The leaves are additionally edible and pretty sizzling, like mustard greens. Sow ‘Spherical Black Spanish Radish’ for extended winter storage of this root.

17. Salsify

A bundle of salsify, slender and earthy, rests on a surface. Its long, tapered roots resemble delicate wands emerging from the soil. These root vegetables promise a delightful culinary adventure.
Salsify has a taste resembling oysters and is expounded to dandelions.

In the event you like to make chowder or mock oyster soup, it is a root you want to develop! Salsify is usually referred to as the oyster plant or vegetable oyster as a result of its taste is paying homage to the saltwater mollusks. White salsify is the “true salsify” (Tragopogon porrifolius) that yields skinny, typically forked white roots that seem like parsnips.

Although it has lengthy carrot-like roots, salsify is definitely a relative of the dandelion. The vegetation are finest immediately sown within the late spring and harvested as much as 120 days later earlier than the primary fall frosts. A biennial, the plant grows fairly grass-like leaves within the first season and produces purple flowers. 

18. Scorzonera (Black Salsify)

Fresh scorzoneras  lying on a rustic wooden table, showcasing their earthy, dark skin and long, slender form. Surrounding the scorzoneras, yellow and deep purple leaves contrast beautifully with the table's warm, natural wood grain.
A dandelion relative, black salsify is a flexible root vegetable with a novel asparagus-like taste.

To make issues a bit complicated, “true” white salsify additionally has a “false” counterpart referred to as black salsify or scorzonera, which comes from an outdated French phrase that means “snake.” This fully completely different species (Pseudopodospermum hispanicum) produces roots that seem like lengthy, thick brown carrots and have a faintly oyster or asparagus-like taste. Scorzonera is well-liked in Russia and Jap Europe as a scrumptious cold-weather culinary ingredient.

That is additionally a dandelion relative within the Asteraceae household. Black salsify is grown in the identical loamy, well-drained soil as white salsify and varieties deep, tapering taproots harvested within the fall. You’ll be able to benefit from the roots steamed, baked, boiled, or sauteed. Some folks eat the younger shoots like asparagus. 

19. Fioretto

A close-up of fiorettos, a unique type of broccoli known for its petite white florets and slender stalks. These tender greens boast a mild, slightly nutty flavor, making them a delightful addition to various dishes.
Fioretto resembles bolted cauliflower however provides straightforward prep with its elongated stalks.

You’ve most likely heard of broccolini or sprouting broccoli, however have you ever had sprouting cauliflower? These candy, tender stalks and white florets are so scrumptious you could not need common cauliflower ever once more. 

The heads look virtually like bolted cauliflower with elegant elongated stalks, however the flavour stays candy and gentle (not like a bolted plant). I particularly love fioretto as a result of you’ll be able to chop it as soon as on the bottom of the stalk, and all of your prep work is completed! The spears fall away from the bottom and are able to grill.

Fioretto means “little flower” in Italian, however the Brassica-family vegetable really originated in Japan, the place it’s referred to as karifurore. Develop it like cauliflower (however with extra warmth tolerance!) and cook dinner it like broccolini.

20. Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco

A close-up of a radicchio reveals its striking features - a pale yellow background adorned with vibrant red spots, creating a visually captivating contrast. The vegetable leaf's intricate structure forms a delicate rosette, showcasing nature's artistry at its finest.
Plant this radicchio in late June or later for a fall harvest in gentle and chilly climates.

In the event you aren’t on the radicchio prepare but, you most likely haven’t been to the Pacific Northwest! However lengthy earlier than these bitter greens turned the favorites of Oregon and Washington farmers, radicchios have been a staple meals in Italy as early because the fifteenth century. 

Radicchios are members of the chicory household, associated to escarole and endive. Whereas “bitter” has a damaging connotation in America, the greens have an extremely complicated style completely complemented by olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and cheese. Bitter meals stimulate and enhance digestion, so that they have been typically included into aperitifs and digestifs to take pleasure in earlier than or after conventional European meals.

Named for its origins in a northern Italian city ‘Variegato di Castelfranco’ is akin to winter salad royalty. This gorgeous head of greens is especially distinctive due to its purple and purple speckling on the whitish-yellow leaves that seem like a bit rosette. Castelfranco is among the most tender and gentle (least bitter) radicchios, good for having fun with uncooked. 

Plant radicchio across the summer season solstice or later for a fall harvest in gentle and chilly climates. This can be a cool-weather crop not really useful for southern growers. The seed will go dormant at temperatures above 77°F.

21. Puntarelle

Puntarelles with their green leaves tightly bundled together. The crisp puntarelles glisten as they catch the golden rays of sunlight, creating an appealing visual display of freshness and healthiness.
Puntarelle is superb uncooked in Italian dishes with an anchovy dressing.

One other fascinating bitter Italian chicory, puntarelle, seems to be like a wild bundle of brief asparagus-like stalks with frilly pointed leaves. Originating in Rome, this elegant inexperienced tastes like a cross between a calmly bitter dandelion or endive and a gentle fennel. The inside coronary heart has a starchy texture like celeriac. 

Puntarelle is commonly served uncooked with an anchovy, olive oil, and white wine vinegar dressing. This vegetable is technically a cluster of small sprouts from a particular number of Catalonian chicory. It may be added to all kinds of Italian dishes and can type cute little spirals in case you soak thinly sliced strips in ice water

22. Belgian Endive (Witloof)

A rustic wooden crate brimming with freshly harvested Belgian endives. The roots of the endives are scattered beneath the crate, a testament to the freshness of this farm-to-table produce.
This vitamin-rich, bitter vegetable is usually served braised with different dishes.

To spherical off the uncommon and underrated chicory class, Belgian endive is a weedy-looking plant associated to dandelions and loaded with nutritional vitamins. Also called witloof, that means “white leaf” in Dutch, this calmly bitter vegetable is commonly served braised with steak, potatoes, and parsnips. 

The witloof head is achieved by digging up the vegetation within the fall after a couple of mild frosts, storing the roots like carrots, after which “drive sprouting” in darkness till the heads turn into dense. This produces delicate pale yellow and white heads of chicories with none inexperienced chlorophyll. Whereas undeniably an odd and complicated plant, it’s actually price a strive for the adventurous gardener and European foodie fanatic.

23. Glass Gem Corn

Delicate fingers gently peel back the husk of a glass gem corn, unveiling a kaleidoscope of colors within. The corn remains nestled on its sturdy stalk, showcasing its natural beauty and connection to the earth.
‘Glass Gem’ corn is a colourful and historic crop for adornment and meals.

You’ll have grown colourful popcorn varieties earlier than, however this Oklahoma heirloom is a staple for any corn patch. The distinctively rainbow kernels seem virtually glass-like and make lovely fall decor. When popped, they style like every other popcorn and retain a lot of their vibrant coloration.

This heirloom is an important a part of American historical past and a terrific conversation-starting crop. Whereas it’s principally grown for decorative makes use of, ‘Glass Gem’ may be dried for popping, cornmeal, and tortillas! Harvest the ears when the rainbow kernels seem shiny and arduous and the husk has principally dried. 

24. Cassava

A close-up of cassava roots glistening in the warm sunlight, their rugged texture and earthy colors coming to life. The blurred background gently hints at a lush, green environment, emphasizing the natural beauty of this staple crop.
Cassava, a flexible root vegetable, is a world staple crop with a impartial taste.

This historic root vegetable has exploded in recognition for its use in gluten-free flour, bread, and tortillas. However cassava (additionally referred to as yuca) has been grown for hundreds of years in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. It seems to be like a thick-skinned candy potato with a impartial taste amenable to varied dishes. The deliciously nutty and subtly candy tuber is a staple meals for farmers and peasants worldwide. 

This can be a tropical perennial woody shrub with a starchy tuber that resembles a fat-rooted mini tree when harvested. The swollen tubers are loved very like a candy potato or potato. Cassava requires as much as 8 months of heat climate, so don’t strive it in chilly climates until you could have greenhouse safety or movable develop luggage.

25. Jicama

A variety of jicama vegetables, ranging from small to large, are neatly arranged in a group. Their beige, rough-textured skins hint at the crisp and juicy white flesh hidden within.
The candy, tender Jicama tubers are finest harvested small.

Jicama is just not significantly uncommon, however it’s uncommon in dwelling gardens. I believe that ought to change as a result of this aromatic vine is delightfully engaging and produces candy roots that style like an apple. A member of the Fabaceae (bean) household, this tuber seems to be just like turnips and tastes just like water chestnuts. 

Jicama is a frost-tender vine cultivated for hundreds of years in Central America. It’s an evergreen perennial in zones 10-12 however may be grown as an annual by beginning indoors in colder areas. It does nicely in southern zones as a result of it enjoys sizzling climate and humidity. The tubers can develop to a whopping 50 kilos, however they’re finest harvested small for tender texture and mildly candy taste.

26. Peruvian Purple Potatoes

Pink sacks overflow with an abundant harvest of Peruvian purple potatoes. The colors and shapes of these potatoes signify the diversity of nature's bounty, a testament to the beauty and variety found in agriculture.
Their purple pores and skin, violet flesh, and earthy taste are good for roasting.

We’ve all had colourful potatoes, however these fingerlings are distinctive sufficient to say. ‘Peruvian Purple’ has additional darkish purple pores and skin and vibrant violet-colored flesh with a dry texture. They’ve a stunning earthy, nutty taste much more complicated than an everyday ole’ Russet. The elongated, knobby fingerling form is most popular for roasting and has a waxier butter-like style than an everyday potato. 

Unsurprisingly, these distinctive spuds originated within the excessive mountain slopes of Peru and Bolivia. They’re extra tailored to chill summers than different potatoes, however they nonetheless can’t tolerate frost. I really like rising them for scrumptious baked purple fries— a memorable facet dish for any celebration!

27. Turk’s Turban Pumpkin

Two Turk's Turban pumpkins, with their distinctive orange and white striped skins, bask in the warm sunlight, showcasing their unique and eye-catching appearance. These vibrant pumpkins stand out against a backdrop of lush green weeds.
This number of squash has a candy texture that can be utilized for cooking.

The ultimate outlier in our bizarre veggie bunch is the turban squash, typically referred to as ‘Turks Turban.’ This heirloom vine grows like all different winter squash however yields strikingly odd fruits that seem like a mutant pumpkin rising out of one other pumpkin.

These squash’s striped skins and large turban “caps” are enjoyable to take a look at and make unforgettable soup bowls! You may also roast or bake them like common pumpkin or butternut squash. They’ve a pleasant candy texture, and sure, you’ll be able to eat the protruding squash “butt!” 

Ultimate Ideas

With the usual rotation of acquainted grocery store greens, we regularly neglect there’s an entire world of range to strive! If you wish to broaden your culinary flavors and backyard crop rotations, strive some conventional and worldwide uncommon vegetable crops. You’ll “wow” your neighbors and will even discover a new backyard staple that few grocery shops promote

My solely recommendation is, don’t choose a ebook by its cowl! Most of the weirdest-looking meals are probably the most scrumptious!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments