There is a sense of excitement that comes from growing something new in your garden each year. Why not explore your creative side and plant something unusual this year. I've put together some extraordinary vegetables with unusual flavors that will be worth the extra effort it takes to find these magnificent plants.
- Asparagus Bean, also know as yard-long bean. A beautiful addition to any vegetable garden, and as good to eat as they are strange to behold. Easy to grow, produces abundantly, and has a pleasing taste all their own.
- Borage is not the prettiest of plants when mature but useful to say the least. Leaves possess a mild, cucumber-like flavor guaranteed to perk up any salad.
- Burdock doesn't need much water and is easy to grow. Slice the roots up for refreshing, sweetish, unusual aromatic flavor in stir-fry dishes or soups.
- Chayote is low in calories and high in trace elements plus a good source of fiber. This vegetable pear is a tasty stand in for asparagus, or use it as you would potatoes or French fries.
- Dandelion is enjoyable all year, and a closer look at its nutritional value should persuade you to do just that.
- Horseradish root is useful both as food and medicine. Cook as you would parsnips or spice up a pot roast or baked ham. In the spring, the first leaf shoots of the plant can be picked for an unusual and pungent potherb.
- Jicama tastes very much like water chestnuts, but with a slight hint of sweetness. These tubers can be used in a multitude of ways.
- Luffa is a member of the cucumber family and is seldom seen growing in America, but spa-bathers and boat scrubbers are undoubtedly familiar with this sturdy "vegetable sponge." Grow some to scrub your veggie's!
- Nettle if handled with care will make a valuable addition to you garden. Arm yourself with gloves and harvest away.
- Orach has a mild flavor and contains much less acid than most other types of spinach. Add to quiches, roll up in crepes, toss into soups, or enjoy this delicious vegetable by itself.
- Rocket is an excellent late crop with the flavor quite distinctive- sharp, spicy, pungent. Enjoy it at its best raw in salads.
- Salsify has a multitude of uses. These roots can be baked, boiled, fried, or served in soups.
- Scorzonera is delicious served hot with melted butter or a cream or mushroom sauce. But like Salsify can be baked or fried as well.
- Sea Kale shoots have a delicate, nutty, slightly bitter flavor. They are yummy when eaten raw with cheese or in salads, or prepared like asparagus.
- Skirret responds well to interplanting with salad crops such as radishes, onions, and leaf lettuce. Boil these roots up with salt and mash like potatoes.
- Tomatillo's are the first cousin of the ground cherry. These sticky green berries are the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican dish.
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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.
Jessica Morgan, M.H.