Rare Vegetable Plants for your Home Garden
Rare Vegetables Create a Unique Garden and a Fun Meal
Rare Vegetables turn a fun hobby into a garden work of art. Gardening is such a rewarding hobby, you dig in the dirt, plant some tiny little seeds than water and nurture them into great works of nature. Then when all the hard work is done you can sit back and enjoy the fruits, and vegetables, of your labor. But after your first successful foray into gardening you yearn for new challenges and new rewards. You want to grow as a gardener and maybe, just a little bit, you want to be able to show off to your friends and neighbors some great new plants that they have never seen before. Well I'm here to help. There are so many different varieties of unique and interesting fruits, vegetables and flowers to choose from that you will never be bored.
As an Avid Gardener
and a vegetarian I am a fan of interesting vegetables. As I plan my garden each year, I look for new heirloom varieties and unique vegetable plants to expand my garden. I have compiled my research here, so you too may enjoy the joys of purple carrots and orange cauliflower. I hope that these unique vegetables inspire you to be unique and creative in your garden year after year.
Well that's a vegetable of a different color - A favorite crunchy veggie gets a new look
Let's start with a rainbow of carrots. Why plant just orange carrots? There are a rainbow of carrots out there. Plant a mix then when you harvest them make a delicious and colorful carrot salad for your next party or potluck.
Purple on the outside, deep orange on the inside. These babies are packed full of antioxidants making them excellent for juicing or for raw snacking. Enjoy!
These bright yellow carrots are smooth, sweet and crunchy. Yum!
These bright red carrots are such to jazz up any salad. These are also very high in the nutrient lycopene, most commonly found in tomatoes and shown to be good for the heart.
This very tender almost coreless white carrot is long lasting, so it is excellent for storage.
Simple and Sweet
6 to 8 Carrots grated (thickly or finely or both)
2 to 3 apples finely chopped or grated
1 cup Raisins
Juice of 1/2 lemon (or orange if you prefer less tart)
Mix all ingredients well, Chill and Enjoy!
Heirloom Tomatoes - These Rare and Unique Varieties are sure to impress
Heirloom Tomatoes are probably the widest variety of any vegetable available. They come in different sizes from tiny little grape and cherry tomatoes to massive 3 and 5 pound varieties. They come in different colors from red to yellow to orange to purple and black. Many gardeners will have a separate garden just for their different tomato varieties.
One of the most interesting tomatoes I have seen with dark skin and light pink on the inside. These grow on small determinate plants and are ready to harvest around 75 days from transplant.
These heirloom slicing tomatoes are originally from the Amana Colonies in Iowa. A beautiful yellow tomato is a late summer harvest with germination between 70 and 85 degrees- 75 - 90 days on Indeterminate plant.
Slice these up on a platter for a great display with red in the bottom half of the fruit and Yellow on top. It has a big, lumpy beefsteak shape with a very mild and sweet flavor. These large fruits, around 22 ounces, grow on tall indeterminate plants which are ready to eat in about 85 days.
Tasty Tomato Salad
One of the best ways to eat a delicious organically grown tomato is by it self, just slice and serve. The second best way, in my humble opinion, is in a delicious, fresh summer Tomato salad. This is my favorite recipe for Tomato Salad:
4-5 large ripe tomatoes, wedged
1 medium sized green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced (optional)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pinches dried oregano
salt and pepper (to taste)
Place all vegetables in a bowl, add vinegar and oil, then the spices. Toss Gently. Cover and put in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
This is great with some crusty bread to soak up all the yummy juices!
Rare and Heirloom Broccoli
Yum, Broccoli- what a versatile vegetable- it is great in salads or on a platter with some dip, It is wonderful steamed or sauteed or tossed with some pasta. Give a few of these varieties a try to add some pizazz to your next Salad.
Probably one of the most interesting plants that you will see. It is a relative of the broccoli and cauliflower family. Broccoli Romanesco is Native to Italy and grows as a lime green colored head with cone-shaped florets that swirl upward forming peaks. Also referred to as romanesca or cauliflower romanesco, the Broccoli Romanesco can be either eaten raw, when added to salads or steamed/baked. It provides a nice nutty texture and a flavor that is delicious.
Sweet Baby Broccoli, also referred to as Broccolini is a green vegetable resembling broccoli. Although often mistakenly identified as young broccoli, it is actually a natural hybrid of the cabbage family Brassica oleracea, a cross between broccoli and Chinese Kale. The name Broccolini was first conceived of, strangely enough, in the oval office, by Richard Nixon, who when asked by Attorney General John N. Mitchell, who asked "Is that an asparagus in your ear?" "No, it's broccolini."
An extra early variety originating in the UK produces large bright purple spears. Plant this along with your regular broccoli to extend your harvesting season.
Although not as rare, it is a favorite of mine, sauteed with a little olive oil and garlic. I like to grow this in my own garden, because it is difficult to find in the grocery stores.
This simple recipe has become a staple in my household. With just three ingredients, and very little prep time, it is a great springtime recipe.
1 head of broccoli, Chopped
4-6 cups Vegetable Broth or water (enough to just cover chopped broccoli in pot)
Salt (to taste)
Roughly chop broccoli and place in large soup pot. Add vegetable broth, or water so that broccoli is mostly covered. Bring to a boil, simmer until broccoli is tender. Scoop broccoli and some of the broth into a blender or food processor, blend until smooth. Return blended broccoli to pot, stir, rewarm and serve.
I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse
Really Unique Cauliflowers
Bright Purple Cauliflower, need I say more? You just don't see these in the grocery store.
Originally from Canada the Cheddar cauliflower has been cross bred with white varieties to improve taste. Aside from being orange and yummy it also has 25% more beta carotene than white cauliflower.
Join the Fun- Take our Poll - This is probably the hardest decision you will have to make all day
What is your Favorite Vegetable?
International Cucumbers - Bring the whole world into your backyard!
I absolutely love garden fresh cucumbers. Slice them up and eat them fresh or marinate them in a little oil and vinegar. They are a great tasty snack. Try a few of these varieties originating from all parts of the world to see which are your favorite.
These beautiful red cucumbers are very mild even when harvested large. They originate from a Hmong Immigrant and are very productive plants.
Believed to originated in Uzbekistan these rare seeds produce a crunchy and delicious pale green cucumber which turns gold brown as it ripens. 50 to 60 days
From longest to shortest, these tiny fruits are the ancestors of cucumbers. Originating in the west indies, they are the smallest cucumbers in the world at 2 inches. The soft spikes on the skin of the fruit can be rubbed of by hand.
Hot, Hot, Hot! - Who's up for some 5 alarm Chili?
Hot Peppers are my all time favorites in the vegetable garden. They are a wonderful rainbow of colors and can be a great decorative plant as well. Why not make some of these spicy additions to your garden.
The White Habanero is a lovely, Rare variety of the Habanero that is thought to originate in Peru. Small bushy pepper plants produce very high yields of beautiful chiles approximately 2 inches long with a creamy-white colored skin. These beautiful, rare white chiles are extremely hot and have been rated at over 300,000 Scoville Units which is about ten times hotter than a standard Jalapeno Pepper. If you like a searing hot chile, this ones for you! Can be used fresh, but makes wonderful, fiery dried chile powder or ultra hot white hot sauce!
These chilie peppers are such a dark green that they appear black. These mildly spicy peppers turn red when ripened.
Cucumber Black Eyed Pea Salad with a Kick
This is a wonderful filling salad with just a little bit of spicy kick to it.
1 1/2 cup black eyed peas, dried
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 Serrano chile, seeded, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lemon and/or lime
salt and pepper
Combine 1.5 cup dried black eyed peas and 3 cup water w/ pinch of salt. cover & bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, simmer with lid cracked 15-20min until tender but with a little bite. Drain and run under cold water.
Combine cucumber, tomato, Serrano, cilantro. Salt & Pepper to taste. Add lemon/lime juice. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. The longer the better.
You can also substitute your favorite hot peppers for the Serrano chile's and I also add some diced avocado when I have it on hand.