Jicama is an edible root vegetable with many similarities to a turnip. The white flesh of the vegetable has a mild flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked. When using jicama, the skin can be peeled with a simple vegetable peeler and the flesh will not become soggy or brown once it has been cut. This makes it a good addition to many salads and platters. Jicama is best used with quick-cooking methods, to help keep the freshness of the vegetable.
Kohlrabi is not the most attractive vegetable out there, but it can be a good addition to a meal with a little bit of work. The outer layer of the bulb is tough, and needs to be peeled away before you can do anything. There is also a fibrous layer below this that needs to be peeled as well. After that, the inner part of the bulb can be used, either raw or cooked. Some approaches for using kohlrabi include cutting it up for salads, as well as roasting or stir-frying the vegetable.
28. Romanesco Broccoli AKA Romaneque Cauliflower
Sometimes simply called Romanesco, this vegetable is part of the cauliflower family. It has a similar taste to cauliflower as well, although some consider it to be a little milder and sweeter. Like cauliflower, the vegetable can be eaten raw, although it will also hold its texture and flavor if cooked lightly. The most unusual part of this vegetable is its fractal-like visual appearance, which is certainly a talking point for those who haven’t seen it before.
Salsify is a root vegetable that has the unfortunate luck of looking just like a brown stick. The vegetable is actually related to the parsnip and is a tasty and a versatile vegetable. Surprisingly, it tastes mildly like an oyster when cooked, which has earned it the nickname ‘oyster plant’. Salsify can be cooked in a range of ways, including fried, mashed or boiled, and can be added to many different meals, including both stews and soups.
26. Samphire AKA Sea Beans/Asparagus/Pickles, Pickleweed
Samphire has started to become a popular and trendy garnish in restaurants and in home cooking, although it makes a good ingredient to dishes too. The plant traditionally grows along the coast in the United Kingdom, although popularity in the United States is growing. Commonly the plant is picked, and when cooked it tends to have a fishy and salty taste.
Sunchokes are a particularly versatile vegetable that has a similar taste to artichokes. They can be eaten both raw and cooked, and one common approach is to slice up the vegetable thinly and use it in salads. You do want to be a little careful with sunchokes, because they are also noted for causing some issues with bloating and gas – leading to an unofficial name of ‘fartichoke’. This impact is not significant for everyone, but it’s worth being cautious the first few times you try the vegetable, just in case.
The tomatillo is considered to be a staple ingredient in Mexican cooking and is also common within the United States. The fruit tends to be roughly the same size as a small apricot, although there is considerable variation in sizes. The taste can also vary considerably, with some tasting mild and sweet, while others taste sour. While they can be eaten raw, tomatillos are more common in recipes, like salsa, or roasted, which mellows the flavor of the fruit.