If you want to learn about some delicious forgotten veggies and how to cook them, continue reading this article and find out more about forgotten vegetables and how to cook them.
One hundred years ago, these not forgotten veggies were not absent from the tables of the poorest peasants and townspeople. Now, these veggies are mere memories of times passed. Meat dishes have become the centerpiece and have replaced traditional vegetables and herbs. Fortunately, more and more people today are interested in rehabilitating the old veggie varieties, which make their way back on the market stalls, enticing us with their taste and aromas.
In addition to presenting to you 9 delicious forgotten veggies, we will also show you how to cook the, following very old recipes gathered from Romanian villages, delicious recipes that have been passed on from generations. Without further ado, here are the most delicious forgotten veggies and how to cook them.
9 Delicious Forgotten Veggies and How to Cook Them
Kohlrabi is one of the tastiest forgotten veggies from the cabbage family, with a sweet and delicate aroma. Kohlrabi tastes somewhat like a combination of radish and cabbage. They are easy to cook and harmonize with all the leafy greens left by God on earth, which makes them an amazing vegetable to cook with. Even more, raw kohlrabis have been used in weight loss, and they are also an amazing food for people suffering from frail bones or osteoporosis. In the Transylvanian villages, kohlrabi was called “calarabă“, where they made a famous kohlrabi soup. Here is how to cook kohlrabi at home.
How to Cook Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi can be added to pork dishes, stuffed with minced meat, or used in simple raw salads alongside cabbage, and carrots. The taste of the kohlrabi soup recipe below has something from the Asian cuisine, yet it has European heartiness and flavor due to the sausages. You gotta try it.
Transylvanian Kohlrabi Soup Recipe
- 1 large kohlrabi (about 400 g)
- 1 large carrot
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1 l of vegetable stock
- 2 raw sausages (about 300 g)
- 70 g fine wheat noodles (vermicelli)
- hot paprika paste
- green onion stalks
- sour cream (optional)
Wash the kohlrabi and the carrot, peel them, and cut them first into slices and then into thins. Finely chop the young kohlrabi leaves too. Peel the garlic and grate it. Heat the oil and fry – over medium heat – the slices of kohlrabi, the carrot, and the garlic until lightly browned.
Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Peel the skin off the sausages and make them into walnut-sized meatballs. Add them to the boiling soup and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time (after about two minutes) add the finely chopped kohlrabi leaves. While the soup is boiling, add the noodles in boiling water and let them soften for a couple of minutes.
Season the kohlrabi soup with salt, pepper, hot paprika paste, or hot paprika powder. Pour the kohlrabi soup into heated bowls, sprinkle with sliced green onions, and sour cream (optional), and serve immediately.
This recipe makes 4 servings and is one of the most delicious ways to cook kohlrabi. Kohlrabi is definitely one of the most delicious forgotten veggies, worth having back.
8. White Zucchini
White zucchinis originate from on the shores of the Mediterranean, from where they spread to all the countries of the old continent. Refreshing and easily digestible, the white zucchini has something of the breeze and seafoam, because it melts down just as quickly when we cook it. Healing for the digestive tract, whether boiled or pureed, the white zucchini is a strong diuretic, especially for kidney disease. While less popular than its close cousin, the green zucchinis, the white variety is a popular summer dish in the Balkan region of Europe, where they are not one of the forgotten veggies, but actually a popular and appreciated vegetable.
How to Cook White Zucchini
White zucchini can ve cooked in multiple ways. The young zucchinis are oftentimes battered and pan-fried, but they can also be used to make zucchini spaghetti, or in veggie stew dishes. The matured white zucchini (the one that has seeds) is usually grated and cooked in delicious summer soups. But one of the most delicious ways to cook this forgotten vegetable is battered and fried, and here is how to make this recipe at home.
Battered and Fried White Zucchini
- 2 medium white zucchini
- 2 eggs
- 3-4 tbsp white flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- pepper to taste
- frying coconut oil
Peel the zucchinis, and cut them into slices (not too thin, not too thick). Add a pinch of salt and pepper over the slices and leave for a few minutes. Separately make the batter by whisking the two eggs and adding flour, as well as salt and pepper to taste. First pass the zucchini slices through flour, and then coat them with the batter and fry in the hot oil, until they turn golden brown. Get them out on a piece of paper to drain the excess oil well, and then place them on a serving plate.
You can eat them on bread, together with tomatoes, or serve them with a simple garlic sauce. The battered and fried white zucchinis are the best battered fried vegetable that you will have. Undoubtedly, one of the most delicious forgotten veggies.
7. Beet Greens
Most people eat only red beetroot, unaware that there are also the white, yellow, or even marbled beets variety, with a slightly sweeter taste than that of red beets. Even fewer people know that the beetroot is not only an edible part of this vegetable but also the leaves. Beet greens are rich in sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. In most Romanian villages of the last century, peasants used to prepare an extremely tasty stew from beet greens, especially when combined with other green leafy vegetables. Here is how you can cook these forgotten veggies at home.
How to Cook Beet Greens
The simplest way to cook beet greens is steemed, but you can also add them to stews, sturdy soups, or raw in salads. Here is how to make an ancient Romanian recipe with beet greens.
Black Dish with Beet Greens
- 1 kg of fresh beet greens
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 handful of lettuce
- 8 slices of smoked bacon
Thoroughly wash the beet greens, spinach, and lettuce leaves. Boil them for a few minutes in some boiling water in which you’ve added some salt. Strain them, squeeze them well and chop them. Separately, place the slices of smoked bacon in a non-stick pan over low heat.
Leave them until golden and crispy, then take them out on a hot plate. Simmer the chopped greens in the leftover pork fat and mix them until they turn dark green. Season with salt to taste and serve the food with the pieces of bacon placed on top.
Simple as it sounds, this recipe will make you fall in love with one of the most amazing forgotten veggies.
6. Jerusalem Artichoke
Oftentimes confused with white beets, the Jerusalem artichoke was indispensable on the peasants’ table a few centuries back. They used to eat it raw in salads during spring, and in autumn they would cook or bake it to make it edible. Its taste is similar to a starchy potato, somewhat sweeter than the white potato. This is one of the most healing forgotten veggies there is, as it contains a lot of iron, and is a natural source of inulin, a type of saccharides easily assimilated by diabetics.
How to Cook Jerusalem Artichoke
The easiest way to cook Jerusalem artichoke is by boiling or baking them with cheese, as you will see in the recipe below.
Jerusalem Artichoke au Gratin Recipe
- 1.5 kg Jerusalem artichokes
- 150 g hard cheese (cheddar, mozarella or a mix)
- 50 g butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- a pinch of ginger powder
- a pinch of ground pepper
Boil the Jerusalem artichoke in water. When they turn soft, peel them and cut them into slices. Grease an oven casserole dish with butter, and then apply the first layer of Jerusalem artichoke slices. Sprinkle some sea salt over each layer of Jerusalem artichokes. Alternate the layers of artichoke with cheese slices, so that the last layer is cheese. Sprinkle the spices on top and bake for 20 minutes in the oven. The Jerusalem artichoke is undoubtedly one of the most savory forgotten veggies you can try. Deliciousness!
5. Red Carrots
Red carrots is another one of the forgotten veggies, originally off the shores of the Mediterranean. The ancestor of orange carrots today was a dark red or even purple carrot. Actually, the carrot became orange only in the 19th century, after it was crossed with the wild carrot of Central Europe. The red carrot is an amazing vegetable, rich in beta-carotene and natural, good sugars.
How to Cook Red Carrots
Red carrots can be cooked the same way as normal carrots, boiled in veggie soups, baked with other root vegetables, in cakes, or in simple, raw salads. Below you find a delicious authentic Mediterranean recipe with sauteed red carrots and cumin powder.
Red Carrots with Cumin
- 1 kg of red carrots
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tbsp of oil
- a pinch of dried coriander or thyme
Wash, peel, and cut the red carrots into thin rounds. Sautee them with a little oil in a pan. When they start to brown, add the cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue cooking the carrot rounds for another 5 minutes. They must be crispy. When ready, add the thyme or dried coriander and serve as a side dish, or with a fresh salad. The red carrots are undoubtedly one of the most versatile and delicious forgotten veggies out there.
4. Savoy Cabbage
Another one of the now-famous forgotten veggies due to a spectacular comeback is the Savoy cabbage. This cabbage variety has been used way before white cabbage by people in Eastern Europe, who’ve made it into savory dishes, such as stew, soup, a flatbread filled with cabbage, cabbage sauteed noodles, and the famous cabbage, meat, and rice pudding, called Varză a la Cluj, which in Romanian means “Cabbage Cluj Style”, Cluj being the largest city in Transylvania. Here is the recipe for this dish using one of the most beloved forgotten vegetables, the Savoy cabbage.
How to Cook Savoy Cabbage
Savoy Cabbage a la Cluj
- 1 medium Savoy cabbage
- 400 g minced meat (mix of beef and pork)
- 2 large chopped onions
- 2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
Wash the cabbage and boil it in a pot of salted water for 15 minutes. Allow to cool down. During this time, prepare the filling by sauteing the onion, and then add the minced meat, salt, pepper, and paprika together, and continue sauteing for 10 minutes.
Finely chop the softened cabbage leaves into fine noodles to start making the layering. Grease the baking dish with some cooking oil first. The first layer is the cabbage one. So take half the finely sliced cabbage and place it at the bottom of the baking dish. Then layer the meat filling over the first layer of cabbage, and then layer the other half of the sliced cabbage on top.
Pour 1/2 cups of water over and bake in the oven for 1 hour over low heat. To add extra flavor, put some chopped sausage on top, 15 minutes before the dish is done.
This recipe makes 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are. Is like a cabbage mousaka, and very tasty. Can be served with high-fat sour cream if you want to enjoy the original flavor of this Transylvanian dish. You will change your mind about these forgotten veggies after making this savoy cabbage recipe.
In the year 640 AD, after a bloody battle between the Saxons and the Welsh, the latter, in order to distinguish themselves on the battlefield from their opponents, wore a leek on their caps. However, the leek may have reached Wales from The Carpathians, from the Dacian soldiers, put by the Romans to defend the borders of the empire. We need not forget, the Scots have also inherited the bagpipe, as well as the călușari dance, which is still played today, from the Dacians in The Carpathians.
Needless to say, this long-forgotten veggie, the leek is a staple vegetable in the southern part of Romania, a region called Oltenia. Here, 50-100 years ago, the leek was a national dish, prepared and enjoyed especially during fasting. If you want to know how to cook one of the most delicious forgotten veggies, here is how.
How to Cook Leeks
Leek Soup with Smoked Ham
- 4 leeks
- 1 onion
- 4-5 slices of smoked bacon
- a little cooking oil
- 1 liter of cow’s milk (4 cups)
Peel and chop the onion. Sautee the onion over low heat with a little oil. Wash the leeks well, remove the white part of the stem and cut it into thin rounds. Cook the leek rounds in the pan over the onion until nice and golden.
Pour half the milk quantity (2 cups) into the pan over the sauteed leeks and onions and also add the slices of smoked bacon. Leave to cook down for half an hour. Then add the rest of the milk to the soup, season with salt to taste. The leek soup is served hot, with the slices of bacon cut into smaller bits and homemade bread. Absolutely incredible! You have to try leeks, one of the most delicious forgotten veggies!
Salsify is originally from Central Europe and has been mentioned in the English horticultural calendars since the 15th century. Very fashionable in Eastern Europe between the two wars, today salsify is cultivated especially in the Tuscany region of Italy. Needless to say, salsify is one of those forgotten veggies worth bringing back, because it’s super-delicious. Here is how to cook a delicious recipe with this almost forgotten vegetable.
How to Cook Salsify
These long-forgotten veggies can be eaten with other vegetables, either boiled, baked, or au gratin, and in the form of veggie balls or mashed (for mashed salsify, we recommend boiling with peels). Salsify root can also be added to soups, and its leaves and buds can be added to salads. Below is one of the simplest and most delicious ways to cook salsify.
Butter Sauteed Salsify
Peel the salsify root using a ceramic knife to prevent oxidation. As you peel them, put them in a bowl with water in which you’ve added a little fresh lemon juice. Boil salsify in salted water until softened. Strain them and fry in oil or butter. You can also bread them and pass them in pancake dough and fry them in a little oil, the same way you make pancakes. Serve sauteed or fried salsify with some white sour cream sauce, or alongside polenta or pasta.
1. Mustard Greens
Mustard is best known for its aromatic properties, however, there’s more to the mustard plant than meets the eye. The leaves and stems of this plant, also known as mustard greens, have been used by Turks and Tartars to prepare pies, salads, and other savory dishes. In spring, the mustard greens are tender and extremely tasty, resembling radish. Want to discover how to cook one of the most forgotten veggies out there? Here’s how.
How to Cook Mustard Greens
Steamed Mustard Greens with Bacon
- a few handfuls of young mustard leaves
- 4 slices of smoked bacon
- cooking oil
Wash the mustard greens well. Bring a pot of water to a boil and simmer the greesn in boiling water with a pinch of salt. Strain them and leave aside. Pan fry the bacon. Serve the boiled mustard greens with bacon and a splash of vinegar. Season with salt (if needed). That’s it.
Why Cook With These Forgotten Veggies?
Jerusalem artichoke, kohlrabi, parsnips, white zucchini, and wild edible plants are having a spectacular comeback, especially in Western countries. Indeed, retro fashion also includes forgotten veggies. Did you enjoy learning about the forgotten veggies and how to cook these 9 forgotten veggies into amazing dishes? Then share this article so more people learn about the forgotten veggies that deserve a comeback in our kitchens.
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