1. Cavolo Nero. Cavolo Nero is a member of the brassica family, along with kale. It is a great source of vitamins K, A and C as well as significant amounts of manganese, copper, fibre, calcium, and iron. It is an extremely versatile vegetable, and can be used in a number of different ways. See my kale and lentil stew recipe which works beautifully with cavolo nero.
2. Jerusalem artichokes. The Jerusalem artichoke (also called sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour), is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America. It contains about 10% protein and is very rich in the carbohydrate inulin (76%). Inulin is not digested by enzymes in our digestive system. As a result, it is an excellent source of dietary fiber and prebiotic (substrate that the healthy bacteria in the small intestines thrive on).
3. Leeks. Leeks belong to the allium family, and are amongst the most protective of all vegetables. The leek is a powerful antibiotic, antiseptic and anti fungal. It helps the body to get rid of toxic substances like alcohol and heavy metals. It also supplies beta-carotene and potassium. A good vegetable all-round. See my bean and leek soup for inspiration.
4. Kohlrabi. This is a very odd-looking vegetable but that is half of the intrigue. As a member of the cabbage family, it contains powerful anti-carcinogenic chemicals called indoles. It is ideal in salads and oven bakes. Check out my white cabbage and kohlrabi salad.
5. Cauliflower. The cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which includes cabbage and all its relatives. It is rich in vitamin C, A, folic acid and beta carotene. It also includes multiple phytochemicals (e.g. carotenoids, insoles) common to the cabbage family. The cauliflower can be eaten raw, in a salad, in an oven bake or as a side vegetable. I have included it in a creative pasta recipe, cauliflower carbonara.
6. Purple sprouting broccoli. Did you know that broccoli comes from the Italian word brocco meaning branch or arm? It all makes sense now. Broccoli is also a member of the cabbage family and is closely related to the cauliflower. More than that, purple sprouting broccoli is more interesting and flavourful than its cousin, the broccoli. Prepare it with olive oil and garlic and sprinkled with roasted almond slivers. Delicious!