Vegetables Category

Vegetables

Vegetables is a catch-all category that includes many of the edible parts of a plant, like stems, roots, flowers, tubers, and leaves. Some biological fruits that aren't very sweet, like tomatoes, squash, peppers, eggplants, and beans, are considered by cooks to be vegetables.

black olives, ripe olives
black olives
These are olives that have been allowed to ripen on the tree. American recipes that call for black olives are probably referring to the Mission olive. Other varieties of black olives are the Aleppo, Alphonso, Amphissa, black Cerignola, Gaeta, black Greek, Kalamata, Ligurian, Lugano, Moroccan dry-cured, Niçoise, Nyons, Ponentine, and Royal.
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black radish, Black Spanish radish, Erfurter radish
black radish
These large, pungent radishes are better known in Eastern Europe than in the United States. With their black peels and white interiors, they can be fashioned into attractive garnishes, or you can peel and cook them like turnips. You can also serve them raw, though it helps to tame them down first by salting and rinsing them.
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black salsify
black salsify
When cooked, black salsify has the taste and texture of an artichoke heart. There are two types: salsify (white salsify) and the more highly regarded black salsify. After peeling black salsify, put it into acidulated water right away to prevent it from turning brown. Canned black salsify is a good substitute for fresh, but it's hard to find.
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black trumpet mushroom, black chanterelle, horn of plenty
black trumpet mushroom
This is a very choice, flavorful mushroom. Dried black trumpets are excellent, too.
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blewit mushrooms, blewitt mushrooms, blue foot mushrooms, blue-leg mushrooms
blewit mushrooms
These are prized more for their beauty than their flavor, which is pleasant but somewhat mild. Dried blewits are even less flavorful than fresh.
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boiling onion, boiler, boiler onion
boiling onion
These are small versions of yellow, white, or red onions. They're up to two inches in diameter, and usually cooked whole.
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boiling potato, low-starch potato, waxy potato
boiling potato
Potatoes in this category hold their shape after cooking, so they're great for making potato salads and scalloped potatoes. They're not good for mashing, baking, or making fries. Types of boiling potatoes are new potatoes, fingerling potatoes, round white potatoes, and round red potatoes.
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bok choy, baak choi, baby bok choy, bai cai, bok choy sum, Canton bok choy
bok choy
Bok choy has crunchy stems and crinkled, spinach-like leaves. It's usually stir-fried with other ingredients, but it can also be steamed or sautéed and served as a side dish. Small heads of bok choy are called baby bok choy (left), and they're more tender than the larger variety. Of the baby bok choys, bok choy sum = Canton bok choy has small yellow flowers (sum is the Chinese word for flower), while Shanghai bok choy is a uniform light green, doesn't have flowers, and isn't as sweet.
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Boniato, batata, batata dulce, batiste, camote, Cuban sweet potato
Boniato
Boniatos aren't as sweet and moist as other sweet potatoes, but many people prefer their fluffier consistency and more delicate flavor. Store them at room temperature and use them soon after your purchase them, since they tend to spoil quickly.
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Boston lettuce
Boston lettuce
This is a type of butterhead lettuce, with soft, tender leaves. It's terrific in salads and sandwiches, or the leaves can be used as a bed for other dishes.
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broccoflower, green cauliflower
broccoflower
This is a green variety of cauliflower.
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broccoli, Calabrese broccoli
broccoli
Broccoli is tasty, good for you, and easy to cook. The florets can be steamed or boiled and served as a side dish, or served raw on a crudité platter, or stir-fried. The stems are good, too, but you should peel them first and cook them a little longer. Select broccoli that's dark green and fresh smelling.
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broccoli raab, broccoli de rabe, broccoli de rape, broccolirab
broccoli raab
This slightly bitter cooking green has long been popular in Italy and is now catching on in America. It's best to just eat the florets and leaves; the stems are quite bitter.
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broccoli Romanesco, broccolo Romanesco, Roman cauliflower, Romanesco
broccoli Romanesco
This is similar to broccoli, but its florets resemble pine cones. It's especially good raw.
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broccoli sprouts
broccoli sprouts
These are rich in sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting compound. They also have a pleasant, peppery flavor.
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broccolini, baby broccoli
broccolini
Broccolini results from a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. The slender stems resemble asparagus in flavor and texture.
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Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts
These look like small cabbages, and they're most often boiled or steamed and served as a side dish. They have a rather strong flavor, so it's best not to pair them with anything that's delicately flavored. They don't store well, so use them within a day or two after purchasing.
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bull's horn pepper, Corno Di Toro Pepper, red bull's horn pepper
bull's horn pepper
This Italian heirloom pepper is shaped like a bull's horn, and many cooks think it's a lot more flavorful than an ordinary bell pepper.
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burdock, beggar's button, gobo root, great burdock, niúbàng, u-eong
burdock
Burdock is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, but it's already an important vegetable in Asia. It lends an interesting, earthy flavor to soups, stews, or stir-fried dishes. Select small, firm roots.
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buttercup squash
buttercup squash
With sweet and creamy orange flesh, the buttercup is one of the more highly regarded winter squashes. The biggest shortcoming is that it tends to be a bit dry. Choose specimens that are heavy for their size.
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butterhead lettuce, butter lettuce
butterhead lettuce
This category includes Bibb lettuce and Boston lettuce.
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butternut squash
butternut squash
This variety is very popular because it's so easy to use. It's small enough to serve a normal family without leftovers, and the rind is thin enough to peel off with a vegetable peeler. As an added bonus, the flavor is sweet, moist, and pleasantly nutty.
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cabbage
cabbage
Cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse that can be eaten raw, usually in slaws, or steamed, boiled, or sautéed. Choose heads that are unblemished, smallish, and heavy for their size. They're cheapest and best in the late fall, winter, and early spring. Store them uncut and unwashed, in a plastic bag in the crisper section of your refrigerator. Many varieties will remain fresh for several weeks. Varieties include green cabbage, which is what recipes often mean when they simply say "cabbage," red cabbage, napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, su choy, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi.
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cachucha pepper
cachucha pepper
These small sweet peppers come in different colors and looks like squished bell peppers. They're popular in the Caribbean, where they're often stuffed and roasted.
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calabaza, abóbora, ahuyama, crapaudback, Cuban squash, giraumon, green pumpkin
calabaza
These are popular in Hispanic countries and throughout the Caribbean. They're large, so markets often cut them up before selling them.
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calcot, green onion
calcot
This is a large, Spanish variety of green onion.
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California chili , California chile
California chili
These are dried Anaheim chiles, and very mild.
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callaloo, bhaji, calalou, callau, callilu, elephant's ear, sag, sagaloo
callaloo
These huge leaves are about a foot and a half long, and they're a popular vegetable among Pacific islanders and some Asians. Many Western cooks steer clear of them, though, since they must be cooked for at least 45 minutes to an hour to rid them of calcium oxalate, a toxin that irritates the throat if swallowed.
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cardoon, artichoke thistle, cardi, cardoni, chardoon, Texas celery
cardoon
This vegetable is very likely an early ancestor of the artichoke. Its large, grayish-green stalks are somewhat bitter, but they remain popular in Italy and North Africa. You can find them in large produce markets in late fall.
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Caribe potato
These large, starchy potatoes have purple skins and white flesh. They're great mashed, but they don't hold their shape well, so they shouldn't be used in potato salads or scalloped potatoes.
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carrot
carrot
Raw or cooked, carrots add sweetness and color to stews, soups, stir-fries, slaws, cakes, and crudité platters, plus they're a great source of Vitamin A. Try to buy them with the greens still attached, they're usually fresher and sweeter that way.
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cascabel pepper - dried, bola chile, chile bola, rattle chile, cascabel chile
cascabel pepper - dried
These are nicknamed rattle chiles because the seeds rattle when you shake them. They're a rich brown color and moderately hot.
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cassava, agbeli, aipim, Brazilian arrowroot, casava, macaxeira, mandioca
cassava
People in Hispanic countries use cassavas much like Americans use potatoes. There's both a sweet and a bitter variety of cassava. The sweet one can be eaten raw, but the bitter one requires cooking to destroy the harmful prussic acid it contains. It's often best to buy frozen cassava, since the fresh kind is hard to peel. Look for it in Hispanic markets. It doesn't store well, so use it within a day or two of purchase.
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Catarina chili dried, Catarina pepper, chile cora, ladybug chile
Catarina chili dried
This medium-hot Mexican chili is used to make tamales, marinades, stews and soups. It's got a fruity flavor with just a hint of tobacco.
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cauliflower, cauli-fiori, chouxfleurs, colewort
cauliflower
Cauliflower florets often wind up in soups, or as a side dish smothered with a cheese sauce, or served raw on a crudité platter. Select heads that are heavy for their size.
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cauliflower mushroom, Sparassis
cauliflower mushroom
These are very flavorful, but a bit chewy. They're good fried, or in soups or stews. Select small, young-looking heads.
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cayenne pepper - fresh, bird pepper, finger chili, ginnie pepper
cayenne pepper - fresh
These are often used in Cajun recipes. Green cayennes appear in the summer, while hotter red cayennes come out in the fall. They are very hot.
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cayenne pepper dried, Ginnie pepper
cayenne pepper dried
These are very hot, bright red chilies. Recipes that call for cayenne pepper are likely referring to a ground powder that goes by the same name, or possibly to the fresh version of the pepper.
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