1. Romanesco cabbage
This vegetable tastes like broccoli or cauliflower; even their growing conditions are very similar. Romanesco has a very beautiful fractal pattern and pyramidal shape, which makes it more attractive compared to other vegetables. Although it is often referred to as broccoli, it is actually a variety of cauliflower. With beautifully detailed designs, this may be the most original vegetable you’ve ever seen.
The vegetable is also known as mouse melon. Outwardly, it looks like a small watermelon, but the taste is more like a cucumber. Cucamelon vines can grow up to 3 meters in length and produce hundreds of fruits on a single plant. Growing conditions are similar to those of cucumbers: they need plenty of sun and warm weather. At the same time, they are more cold-resistant and resistant to pests than ordinary cucumbers.
3. Celery root
The root vegetable tastes similar to leaf celery but has a nuttier flavor. Celery has a very long growing season. At least 7 months must pass from sowing to harvest. Root celery should be sown in January-February.
4. Ground almonds, or chufa
This crop is a cereal that produces many sweet nodules underground, a bit like peanuts. Chufu can be grown in temperate climates, although the plant prefers warmer regions. In particular, this African plant is traditionally grown in Spain, where it was brought by the Arabs. Chufa tastes like a combination of almonds and coconut. It is best to plant it in a warm and sunny location and water it thoroughly.
Each bean of this amazing plant can grow up to 60 cm in length and grow by several centimeters per day. The taste is somewhat reminiscent of green beans but with a more distinctive flavor. It is best to cook these beans in oil or deep-fry, as they are not very tasty when cooked.
This purple or green vegetable looks like an alien culture! It will definitely add a unique touch to your vegetable garden. Kohlrabi belongs to the Cruciferous family but can be used in cooking in the same way as turnips.
This crop is very common in Central American dishes, and the fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. They are best known as an ingredient in the famous green sauce, Salsa Verde.
Tomatillo grows in an edible shell-like physalis. A slightly sticky “papery” husk surrounds the hard green fruit, and when the husk begins to dry out, it cracks. As the berry ripens, it changes color from green to light brown.
8. Malabar spinach, or basella
This leafy vegetable is a vine with beautiful red stems and delicious fleshy leaves. They are ideal for salads or stir-fries as a substitute for traditional spinach.
Chard is a close relative of beets and belongs to the Amaranth family. It does well in a variety of temperature conditions, from cool to warm. This leafy vegetable is rich in nutrients and is considered a superfood as it contains high amounts of minerals, phytonutrients, vitamins A, K, C, and fiber.
The vegetable has many nicknames: Chinese cabbage, Chinese chard, and Chinese mustard. As you can tell from the name, pak choy, a leafy vegetable, is most often used in Asian dishes. It is a rosette of long, wide leaves with succulent petioles. The bushes can grow up to 30 cm in height and up to 45 cm in width. The slightly mustardy vegetable flavor makes it an ideal ingredient for stir-frying and adding to vegetable and meat stews.
Have you tried horned cucumbers? They look like dragons ready to attack you, but they taste like amazing vegetables. Their pulp is slightly gelatinous and tastes like a mixture of tropical fruits: banana, lime, and other citrus fruits. Kiwano can be eaten fresh, in juice, or frozen in desserts.
12. Trichosanth serpentine, or Snake gourd
Want to scare your neighbors? Plant some snake gourds in your garden beds. This vegetable belongs to the Pumpkin family. It tastes similar to green beans and is used in a similar way to beans in Chinese cuisine. Usually cooked with onions, peppers, and tofu. You can also peel the inside of the pulp and use it as a thickener and seasoning in soups and sauces.
This tasty relative of basil and mint is grown throughout Asia as a herb and leaf vegetable. It can be added to soups, broths, stews, wrapped in sushi, or brewed as tea. Perilla leaves are used both fresh and dried, and even pickled. The foliage and seeds taste like a cross between mint and hyssop.
14. Thai eggplant
Thai eggplants are not at all like traditional ones. It is a type of nightshade: the fruits resemble green peas, collected in clusters. They are consumed unripe. Thai eggplant is the name of several varieties used in Southeast Asian cuisines, especially Thai and Cambodian. They are most often cooked with curry sauces, which makes them softer and absorbs the flavor of the seasonings. Thai eggplant can also be eaten raw in salads or pastas.