If you enjoy seasonal eating, you may encounter – and perhaps avoid – some less familiar veg along the way. Here is our round-up of the three best summer veg you didn’t know you loved, each with its own marvellous flavour that truly deserve to be star of the show.
Enjoy crunchy, fresh hydrating veg? Kohlrabi is your friend
An alien-like knobbly, round root in an out-of-this world pale green or intense purple, kohlrabi has edible leaves like antennae poking from the top – no wonder so many veg box lovers are a little fazed by what to do with it. Inside, the flesh is crisp and succulent with a texture and taste similar to radish.
To prep, thinly slice, chop into matchsticks, or grate – peel off the outer skin first if tough. Use a sharp, acidic dressing and pair with courgette and fennel in a fresh, simple salad. For an easy recipe click here.
Kohlrabi makes a great quick pickle too, perfect for garnishing salads, adding into a wrap, or topping burgers with. Use a swivel topped peeler to get nice thin strips then lightly pickle them in cider vinegar, with a pinch of sugar and salt added, for about 20 mins. Drain and finish with a little chopped dill or parsley.
For leisurely mealtimes? Enjoy globe artichokes
Daunting in appearance this spiky, seemingly unyielding veg is a wonderful ingredient. With an intense asparagus-like flavour, it is well worth the effort and a little goes a long way.
Not one to rush, a bowlful of whole boiled artichokes is a real simple pleasure. Start by looking for artichokes with a tight leaf formation that feel heavy for their size and use as soon as possible (although they will keep in the fridge for up to a week).
To prepare, trim away most of the stalk and cut off the top quarter of the head. Boil for 20-30 mins, drain and serve. Eat leaf by leaf, starting at the outer, nibbling the base of each after dipping it in melted butter or vinaigrette as you go.
Grab an extra bowl for discarded leaves – it’s a messy business! And when you reach the centre, you’ll encounter the feathery ‘choke; remove it with a teaspoon and discard, leaving the tender artichoke heart to enjoy. Fancy giving it a try? Watch the Riverford Veg Hack below for an easy recipe.
Summer turnips are having their moment
This year Instagram folks have decided nobody puts turnips in a corner, and it is their time to shine. Rather photogenic with their magenta and white outer, unlike heavier winter turnips, those harvested in summer are fresher, crunchier, and more peppery. They have been spotted in fritters, made into crisps, pickled, raw in salads or roasted.
Not sure where to start? Caramelising them with butter and wine brings out their mellow sweetness – for an easy recipe, click here. Alternatively, this chickpea and summer veg tagine pairs summer turnips with sweet apricots, fresh herbs and aromatic spices. Click here for the full recipe.