This deep, golden-orange spice has been used in Indian, Thai and Persian cooking for hundreds of years. Flavor-wise, it is earthy and bitter, with a bit of peppery spice. Turmeric is what gives curry powders such a deep flavor. A spoonful will turn most dishes a bright yellow-orange. Most dishes call for peeled turmeric. Depending on the size and shape of the root, you can use a vegetable peeler or paring knife.A relative of ginger, turmeric has medicinal value as well. Curcumin is a component of turmeric that has been studied for its anti-inflammatory effects. Turmeric is also used in Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient Indian medical system. Get the recipe for Turmeric Tea here. You can also find turmeric sold in a dried and powdered form on our spice aisle.
Radicchio is a member of the chicory family, a group of cabbage-like, leafy vegetables that are known for their spicy bitterness. It is sometimes referred to as Italian chicory because of its common use in Italian cooking, especially in pasta and rice dishes. Cooking reduces its bitterness, but also dulls its beautiful, vibrant color. Radicchio is also used in salads. You can tone down the bitterness by soaking the cut leaves in water. Get the recipe for radicchio salad here.
Purple Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a leafy green vegetable that grows in small, compact heads, that look like mini cabbages. Purple Brussels sprouts are slightly sweeter and not quite as pungent as green Brussels sprouts. The purple color comes from the pigment anthocyanin, which acts as an antioxidant (blueberries are another source of anthocyanin). They also keep their beautiful purple color when cooked. Get the recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts here.
Asparagus tips can be eaten raw. Raw asparagus tips have a slightly sweet flavor and a crisp texture. Thinly sliced, they are a great addition to any salad. Boiling, steaming, roasting, sautéing, broiling, and pan-roasting are all great cooking methods for asparagus and asparagus tips. Get the recipe for roasted asparagus tips with Parmesan cheese here.
Belgian endive (pronounced en-daiv) is related to chicory. It has tender white leaves with either yellow or red-colored leaf edges — it looks like lettuce — and has a mild, bitter flavor. It makes a great addition to salads, but is also delicious cooked, which mellows the bitterness. Don’t wash or soak endives before using, it brings out the bitterness. Instead, wipe them with a moist, damp cloth, pull off the outer leaves and cut out some of the bitter, cone-shaped core. Get the recipe for roasted Belgian endive here.
Wax beans, also known as yellow beans, are a common type of green beans with a taste similar to green beans . They get their name from their pale-yellow color, which resembles wax The primary difference between green beans and wax beans is that wax beans do not contain chlorophyll, which is the compound that gives green beans their color. Get the recipe for wax beans and garlic here.
Plantains are tropical, starchy fruits that look like large bananas. They are firm when green and unripe, then soften as they turn yellow, and eventually, black. For the easiest peeling, cut off both ends of the plantain. Look at the ridges of the plantain. Cut a shallow slit down the length of each ridge (only cut as deep as the skin). Slide a butter knife down between the flesh and the skin, lifting up slightly to loosen it. The skin will come right off.
Papaya is a tropical fruit with bright yellow-green skin, juicy-sweet orange flesh reminiscent of a mix of a mango and a cantaloupe. The edible black seeds that have a pepper-like flavor. Use a sharp knife to trim the ends off the fruit. cutting papaya in half. Halve the fruit lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape away the seeds and pulp from each half. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Cut each half lengthwise into long strips. Chop into bite-size cubes.
Dragonfruit are actually a tropical cactus. The nickname comes from the pointy scales that cover the skin. Dragonfruit has a refreshing delightfully sweet flavor described as a blend of pear and kiwi. Dragonfruit are an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants. Using a sharp knife, cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the fruit with a spoon, or cut it into cubes by cutting vertical and horizontal lines into the pulp without cutting into the peel. To enjoy, add it to salads, smoothies, and yogurt, or simply snack on it by itself.
Golden berries are small, bright, orange-colored fruits that are closely related to tomatoes and tomatillos. They are delightfully sweet and tangy, with a flavor usually described as a mix between mango and pineapple. Eat them raw as a snack or in a salad. Golden Berries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fresh fruit.