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.

hair vegetable, black flossy moss, black moss, fat choy, hair seaweed
hair vegetable
The Chinese add this to soups and use it as a garnish. Look for it in Chinese markets and pharmacies. It grows in the Gobi Desert.
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hardneck garlic
hardneck garlic
Hardneck garlic retains the stalk in the center of the bulb. They tend to have stronger flavors and do not store as long as softneck garlic. Hardneck garlics include purple stripe, rocambole, porcelain, and others.
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haricot verts, French bean, French filet bean, French green bean
haricot verts
This is a very thin variety of green bean that's crisp, tender, and expensive. Don't confuse this with the haricot bean, which is a dry bean.
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Hass avocado, California avocado
Hass avocado
This is available year-round and has a rich flavor and creamy texture. The skin turns almost black when the avocado is ripe, which can camouflage bad bruises. This is the best variety by far for guacamole, but it turns a bit mushy in salads.
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hearts of palm, palm hearts, palmitos, swamp cabbage
hearts of palm
These are peeled cabbage palm buds, and they're terrific in salads or as a vegetable side dish. You can buy them fresh only in Florida, but the canned version is quite good.
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hedgehog mushroom, sweet tooth mushroom, wood hedgehog
hedgehog mushroom
Hedgehog mushrooms are similar to chanterelles in color and flavor.
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hijiki, hiziki
hijiki
Hijiki has a mild flavor, so it's a good choice if you want to slip a sea vegetable unobtrusively into your soups and stews in order to fortify them with calcium, iron, and other nutrients. When rehydrated, it roughly quadruples in size, so a little goes a long way.
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Holland bell pepper
Holland bell pepper
These are like bell peppers, only they're sweeter and have thicker walls. They come in different colors.
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Hondroelia olive
Hondroelia olives
This is a juicy, meaty olive.
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horseradish, German mustard, khren, kren, Meerrettich
horseradish
This is a very pungent brown root that's usually peeled and grated to make a condiment for meats. Its intense flavor and aroma dissipate quickly when exposed to air, so it should be grated just before serving or mixed with something sour (like vinegar, lemon juice, or beet juice) to lock in the heat. It's easiest to use a blender or food processor to grate it. Fresh horseradish is surprisingly potent, so make sure your kitchen is well ventilated, wear rubber gloves, and don't rub your eyes.
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Hubbard squash
Hubbard squash
This variety has tasty flesh, but it's too large for many families to handle and the rind is hard to cut though. Some grocers cut them into smaller pieces before putting them out.
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huitlacoche, corn smut, cuitlacoche, huitlacoche Italian brown mushroom
huitlacoche
This is a fungus that forms black kernels on ears of corn in damp weather. It's a prized delicacy in Mexico, and tastes a bit like wild mushrooms. You can get it fresh or frozen by mail order, or canned in some Hispanic markets. WARNING: May cause contractions in pregnant women.
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iceberg lettuce, cabbage lettuce, crisphead lettuce, head lettuce
iceberg lettuce
This is prized for its crispness and longevity in the refrigerator, but it's a bit short on flavor and nutrients.
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Indian bitter melon, balsam pear, bitter apple, bitter melon, bitter squash
Indian bitter melon
This is fairly bitter. Choose melons that are bright green. They turn tough and yellow as they age. You can eat the peels and seeds, or scrape out the seeds to reduce the bitterness.
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Italian eggplant
Italian eggplant
These are smaller than American eggplants, but they're otherwise very similar.
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Italian flat bean, helda beans, Romano bean, runner bean
Italian flat bean
These green or yellow beans are like ordinary green beans, but they're flatter. Select small, brightly colored beans that snap when you break them in half.
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jalapeno pepper , jalapeño Pepper
jalapeno pepper
These popular chilis have a good amount of heat and rich flavor. Green jalapenos are best in the late summer, while red jalapenos appear in the fall. Canned jalapenos aren't as fiery as fresh. When dried and smoked, this pepper is called a chipotle.
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jambu
jambu
Jambu is a low growing herb. The leaves are commonly eaten as a vegetable in Brazil. Jambu has a strong but pleasant taste that enhances salads and stews. It has a mild anesthetic affect that can cause numbness in the mouth.
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Japanese chili, chile japones
Japanese chili
These small red chilis are hot, and similar to the chile de arbol. Before using them, soak them in warm water for a few minutes.
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Japanese cucumber
Japanese cucumber
These are just like English cucumbers, only with bumps. Like English cucumbers, they don't have to be peeled or seeded.
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Japanese eggplant, nasu, nasubi
Japanese eggplant
Like other Asian eggplants, Japanese eggplants have thin skins, and a sweet, delicate flavor.
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japanese yam, Japanese sweet potato, kotobuki, satsuma imo
japanese yam
Don't confuse this with yamaimo.
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Jerusalem artichoke, earth apple, girasole, sunchoke, sunroot, topinambour
Jerusalem artichoke
These look like small, knobby potatoes, but they have a crisp texture and an interesting earthy flavor. You can eat them raw, stir-fry them, or bake them like potatoes. It's best not to peel them, but you'll want to scrub off the dirt. If you slice them, dunk them immediately in acidulated water to keep them from discoloring.
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jicama, ahipa, Chinese potato, Chinese turnip, jícama, Mexican potato
jicama
This tan-skinned tuber has a mild, nondescript flavor, but a nice crunchy texture. It's a good, cheap substitute for water chestnuts in stir-fries. Since it doesn't discolor, it's also a great vegetable to serve raw on a crudité platter. Peel it before using.
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jute leaf, Jew mallow, krin-krin, rau day, saluyot, West Africa sorrel
jute leaf
These are tossed into stews in Africa, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia.
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kabocha squash, Japanese pumpkin, Japanese squash, kabachi, nam gwa, sweet mama
kabocha squash
This orange-fleshed winter squash has a striated green rind. It's sweeter, drier, and less fibrous than other winter squash, and it tastes a bit like sweet potatoes.
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Kalamata olive, Calamata olive
Kalamata olives
You can find these popular Greek black olives in most large supermarkets. They're salty and have a rich, fruity flavor. These can be eaten out of hand, or used to make tapenades.
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kale, black cabbage, borecole, cow cabbage, curly kale, dinosaur kale, kail
kale
Kale is a kind of cabbage with dark green, wrinkled leaves. It's prized more for its hardiness than its flavor or delicacy, but it continues to be popular in the South, where it's often cooked as a side dish. Remove and discard the tough center stalks before cooking. Varieties include curly kale, dinosaur kale = black cabbage = lacinato kale, and the popular Red Russian kale = ragged jack kale.
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Kashmiri red chili dried
Kashmiri red chili dried
This mild Kashmiri chili is used in Indian cooking to add flavor and color.
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kershaw squash
kershaw squash
Kershaw squash is an heirloom squash. It is mostly grown in the American south. Kershaw squash was cultivated by native Americans.
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Kirby cucumber
Kirby cucumber
This short, versatile cucumber is used for both slicing and pickling. It's small, with bumpy yellow or green skin. Like the English cucumber, it has a thin skin and inconspicuous seeds.
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kiwano, African horned cucumber, African horned melon, cherie, English tomato
kiwano
This melon has a gorgeous orange rind with spikes--poke a stick in it and you'd have a medieval mace for a Halloween costume. The yellow-green flesh has the consistency of jello, and tastes a bit like cucumbers.
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kohlrabi, cabbage turnip, German turnip, stem cabbage, turnip cabbage
kohlrabi
A kohlrabi resembles a turnip, only it's sweeter and more delicately flavored. It's light green and sometimes sold with its edible greens attached. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Choose small ones, and peel before using.
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kohlrabi greens
kohlrabi greens
These can be cooked just like Swiss chard. Remove the stems first if they're too thick.
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konbu, dasima, haidai, kelp, kombu, oarweed, sea cabbage, sea tangle, tangle
konbu
Like other sea vegetables, konbu is rich in minerals. It's very popular in Japan, where it's used to flavor dashi, a soup stock. Konbu is usually sold dried, in strips or sheets. Choose konbu that's very dark, almost black, and don't wipe off the white residue that often appears on the surface; it's very flavorful.
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kontomire, African spinach
kontomire
This African green is very hard to find fresh in the United States, and the canned version is terrible.
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Kura olives
This Middle Eastern cracked green olive is hard to find in the U.S.
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lamuyo pepper, European sweet pepper, rouge royal
lamuyo pepper
This hard-to-find sweet pepper is smaller and sweeter than its cousin, the bell pepper, with which it's interchangeable.
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laver, aonori, green laver, nori, parae, purple laver, purple seaweed, redware
laver
This protein-rich seaweed is popular in Britain and Japan. To rehydrate, soak it in water for about an hour, then add it to soups and salads. Laver is sometimes called nori, but that name is more commonly used for the dark sheets that the Japanese use to wrap sushi, which are made from the same plant.
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