We’re fascinated with heirlooms and some indigenous vegetables and flowers that have been grown for centuries, and yet we are still yet to really take notice of. Some of these, we have started growing in the farm. Here’s a peak:
Heirloom varieties of Daikon radishes from China! These radishes are green on the outside and pink on the inside. Cut it up and adds wonderful colors to your salad. Milder and sweeter than regular radishes, they can be braised, roasted or mashed. Sorry but they lose their colors when cooked. It would be much better to serve them raw in your salad or pickled!
An heirloom vegetable from the Italian coastal town of Chioggia. This radically colored vegetable has been around since the early 19th-century. The beets taste just like regular beets, with a little sweeter note. They look perfect in your plate sliced open as the flesh has beautiful pink and white stripes. Prepare it like any other beet: steamed, sauteed, roasted, and pickled. You can also sauté the greens. Cut up for salads or add to soup. Beets have lots of fiber, potassium, iron, and folic acid. It is also a a powerful antioxidant (Betacyanin is the pigment that gives beets their color.)
Did you know that carrots were originally purple? The original color of carrots cultivated in Afghanistan 5,000 years ago were actually purple. They are sweet whether raw or cooked (but lose the beautiful color when boiled.) Slice them and mix with other colorful vegetables, serve with dip, or use for coleslaw. Saute lightly with olive oil or just coat the with a little oil, sprinkled with herbs. Their unique color tells you that it’s packed with phytochemicals! Purple Haze is packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene and is anthocyanins (the antioxidant that gives blueberries its superfood health benefits.)
We have Black Crimson, Tiger Stripeand cherry heirloom tomatoes. Black Crim is one of the most popular heirlooms and comes from the Isle of Krim, located on the Black Sea. It has a wonderfully rich flavor, a bit salty and with a hint of wine. The Tiger Stripe is also a beauty. Red with darker red stripes, it adds character to any dish. It is also firm and has a good flavor. Then we have good old cherry tomatoes, tiny but quite packed with full flavor, sweet and juicy.