My fave is not unusual so much as just cooked differently. Basically, cabbage sliced thinly like for cole slaw, but stir fried. I tend to do it with some fatty hamburger, fresh minced ginger and garlic, and tamari. It's one of hubby's favorites.
Also, around here, okra is QUITE rare (Pennsylvania). I grow it myself so I can eat some.
Pumpkin and/or winter squash. Not just as mashed or baked squash, but shredded and fried like hash browns, made into soup with ginger and good stock, cubed and added to stew.
Speaking of cubed and added to stew, I freaking love rutabagas. It's more strongly flavored than turnip, so don't make a HUGE stew until you've tried it in case you don't like it.
Artichoke hearts. I chop them in the food processor, and add a little mayonnaise and/or sour cream to make a dip that I serve on top of salmon or tomato slices.
Also, baby cucumbers as a snack vegetable in packed lunches. We get different varieties of these in our Hispanic market, but I think most people just think of cucumbers as salad food. I have had people do a double take when they see me eat a whole one, as is.
[QUOTE=sbhikes;973020]Brussels sprouts, zucchini, squash, eggplant, cauliflower, beets and spaghetti squash are all fairly ordinary vegetables. I thought the question was about the unusual, forgotten ones. I would say that mustard greens probably count for that. Rutabagas, perhaps, and maybe celery root, too. Definitely kholrabi is rarely spoken of around here.
I've been considering figuring out what to do with culinary lavender. Seems the guy at the farmer's market who sells bitter melon does a brisk business with those. I ought to try that some time.[/QUOTE]
Be careful with the lavender - too much makes things taste like soap. Try infusing some heavy cream with just a pinch, then straining and pouring over berries or something. Also, lavender is a part of herbs de provence, so it can go into any rustic French stew. Just be sure to tie it up in a bouquet garni, because the little pieces aren't very pleasant to actually chew on.
[QUOTE=naiadknight;972718]Summer squash, in any form. Around here, it seems folks only use it as noodles, but it can do so much more. Grill it, saute it, shred it into a hashbrown like thing, dehydrate it into chips, roast it... the possibilities are endless.
Turnip greens. Rinse 'em well and they have the peppery kick of the root vegetable they're attached to. Boil and mash 'em for mashed 'taters you don't hafta add pepper to. Roast 'em with carrots and squash to add a fun kick.[/QUOTE]
Not to sound too dumb but do you mind explainging,shred it into a hashbrown thing...that sounds awesome.
Kale. I steam it with garlic, and often mixed with red cabbage.
[QUOTE=ashley.thepie.rat;973637]Not to sound too dumb but do you mind explainging,shred it into a hashbrown thing...that sounds awesome.[/QUOTE]
Slice it in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Run it through the big hole side of a shredder. Gather it into a tea towel and squeeze out the water. Get 1/8" oil of choice (I use bacon or italian sausage grease because it's awesome) to frying eggs hot. Put the zuke shreds into the pan, keeping it to no more than hashbrown thickness (1 layer zuke to 1/4" thick). Fry it until the bottoms are happy brown (5-15 min depending on thickness, keep checking it), then flip and wait again. Plate and serve.
[QUOTE=naiadknight;973695]Slice it in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Run it through the big hole side of a shredder. Gather it into a tea towel and squeeze out the water. Get 1/8" oil of choice (I use bacon or italian sausage grease because it's awesome) to frying eggs hot. Put the zuke shreds into the pan, keeping it to no more than hashbrown thickness (1 layer zuke to 1/4" thick). Fry it until the bottoms are happy brown (5-15 min depending on thickness, keep checking it), then flip and wait again. Plate and serve.[/QUOTE]
yummm. you just made my day..i never would of thought of that. thanks :]
I forgot images have to be approved
I also like kai lan. Ooh, and fiddleheads when they're in season. Jicama is good. Pattypan squash are a nice alternative as a summer squash and one I don't see people talk about often here. And brocoflower (a broccoli-cauliflower hybrid) is awesome if for no other reason than it looks freaky.
I'm also a huge fan of rutabaga, mustard greens, and turnip greens. And bok choi. I don't eat those things nearly often enough.
Here's my typical bok choy method: Cut the greens off from the stalk. Slice stalks into 1/4" half moons. Saute them in some fat along with some sliced onion until tender, about 8 minutes. Then I add the greens and cook until they're just tender, about 2 minutes. Sometimes I add some sesame oil and tamari. Sometimes butter, salt, and pepper.