6 unfamiliar vegetables you might love

October 9, 2015

When you see them in grocery stores, you may turn up your nose at them, and even wonder, "Who the heck buys this stuff? Well, starting today, maybe you will.

6 unfamiliar vegetables you might love

1. Bok choy

An Oriental cabbage, bok choy is like the Chinese version of spinach, only better. It doesn't get mushy, it retains its crunch and it is the perfect vehicle for soy sauce. Serve it chopped and stir-fried in a bit of peanut oil and soy sauce. Or toss a chopped bunch into a hearty vegetable soup just before serving.

2. Kohlrabi

  • A member of the turnip family, it is often called a cabbage turnip, but it's sweeter, juicier, crisper and more delicate in flavour than a turnip. The cooked leaves have a kale or collard flavor.
  • Trim and pare the bulb to remove all traces of the fibrous layer just beneath the skin, then eat it raw, boil it, steam it, microwave or sauté it, or add it to potato casseroles.

3. Fennel

  • Also known as sweet anise, fennel has a sweet, mild licorice flavor. The feathery fronds can be used as an herb, like dillweed, to flavour soups and stews.
  • The broad, bulbous base is treated like a vegetable and can be eaten raw or sliced and diced for stews, soups and stuffing. Try it roasted for a sweet treat.

4. Jicama

  • Known as the Mexican potato, jicama (pronounced HE-kuh-muh) is a root tuber (like potatoes).
  • Buy it smooth and firm with unblemished roots.
  • Serve it cold and raw, or in soups, stews or salads. It's great as a substitute for water chestnuts.

5. Belgian endive

This type of lettuce has a mild, slightly bitter flavour and is packed with fiber, iron and potassium. Use it in salads and instead of crackers with vegetable dips.

6. Chayote squash

  • A summer squash native to Latin America, chayote (pronounced chy-O-tay) squash is also known as the vegetable pear because of its shape and colour.
  • It has a mild taste, like zucchini, with a slightly citrus tang. You don't have to peel it, and the seeds inside are edible.
  • Just cut into cubes, add 50 millilitres (1/4 cup water), cover and microwave for about eight minutes.

These vegetables may seem unusual, but you may be surprised at how versatile and flavourful they are.

If you wish to try them, don't forget to add these vegetables to your YP Grocery list!

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