Move over, kale. Sure, we love your essential vitamins and ridiculous mineral count, but in 2017, we’re making room for other veggies on the dinner plate. From earthy and unusual to vibrant and frilly, this year’s trendiest vegetables are as eye-popping as they are delicious, and we’re sharing exactly what they are, where to buy them and how best to enjoy them.
Yes, there is such a thing as purple asparagus. It was developed by farmers in the Albenga region of Italy. The color comes from the high levels of anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant flavonoid that has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. While the stems of the asparagus have a deep violet hue, the flesh is a pale green to creamy white color.
Purple asparagus is less fibrous, which means that its tender and can be eaten raw. Even better, it’s sweet! Purple asparagus has 20% more sugar than both white and green varieties. When cooked, purple asparagus has similar flavors to artichoke, barley and almonds.
This colorful veggie will lose some of its vibrancy when cooked. All you need is a little olive oil, lemon and sea salt to truly enjoy its flavors. Grill it, sauté it, steam it—just make sure you cook purple asparagus over high and brief heat.
Marinate the purple asparagus in some type of dressing that contains seasonings or spices. Place the marinated asparagus onto a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until tender.
It might not be a vegetable per se, but vegetable flavored yogurt is replacing traditional sweet options like strawberry and vanilla. Varieties such as carrot, beetroot and sweet potato have been popping up in stores throughout the U.S.
(Image via Lily Chin / Serious Eats)
Tangy, fresh, savory, acidic…each flavor of vegetable yogurt has its own unique taste.
Eat it solo or use it as a condiment or ingredient as you would with sour cream.
Serve it as a dipping sauce with a vegetable crudite platter.
You can find vegetable yogurts in Whole Foods throughout the Northeast.
Farmers have been using broccoli leaves to renew their soil for years. Turns out that the nutrients and cleansing properties are just as good for your body, too. BroccoLeaf—short for broccoli leaves—is packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, folate and potassium.
Broccoli haters, you’re in luck! BroccoLeaf is a bit sweeter than traditional broccoli and tastes sort of like sugar snap peas.
You can eat BroccoLeaf raw in a salad, add it to an omelette or toss it in your smoothie.
Slice the Broccoleaf into 1/2 inch wide “noodles.” Sauté with olive oil and garlic for two minutes. Then, top with crushed red chili flakes to taste.
Everywhere. Or look for Foxy’s packaged BroccoLeaf in your local supermarket.
While there’s nothing exotic about cauliflower, it made our list because it’s being touted as the trendiest vegetable of the year. Broccoli’s sweeter cousin is incredibly versatile, with a hefty dose of vitamin C, a decent amount of fiber and protein, and plenty of phytonutrients. It’s most common as a white vegetable, but look for it in green, purple and even orange.
This cruciferous vegetable has a distinct flavor – you either love it or you don’t. It’s earthy and almost nutty after it’s been cooked. It can be quite sweet as well.
Cauliflower lends itself to almost anything – soups, pastas, mashed potatoes, even pizza crust (yes, cauliflower pizza crust is a thing). You can roast it, mash it, sauté it or chow it down raw. Throw it on the barbeque or grate it up as a stand-in for rice. Whether you’re looking to enhance the flavor or mask it, cauliflower makes it easy.
Slice up cauliflower florets horizontally and toss with melted butter and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then roast 20 to 30 minutes at 400º until almost tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan and chopped parsley, then roast again until cheese is melted and slightly crusted.
North America is late to the game on this one – seaweed has long been a staple in more than just sushi around the world for years. There are lots of varieties of this ocean algae, which can be brown, green and red (the most common for those tasty sushi rolls). Since fresh seaweed doesn’t keep well, it’s usually dried and can be rehydrated if necessary.
Seaweed has a strong, salty ocean flavor, but it’s not fishy. It packs a one-two punch of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals like iodine, magnesium, iron and calcium. With all twelve essential amino acids, it’s also a great source of protein and fiber.
Seaweed adds its oceanic flavor to all sorts of dishes, including smoothies and desserts. Eat it baked, dried, cooked or raw. Try it sprinkled on salads, soups, rice or pasta, and consider adding some to your salt grinder for a savory note.
Combine a bit of wasabi and a sprinkle of salt in ¼ cup water. Add one tablespoon of soy sauce. Brush the mixture over a sheet of nori, then lay another piece on top and repeat. Cut the sheet in half, then each half into strips. Bake for 20 minutes at 250º until crunchy.
Seaweed snacks can be found in grocery and convenience stores everywhere. Check out the ethnic food aisle of your supermarket for dried sheets of nori, kelp or wakame.