Prussian asparagus (Ornithogalum pyrenaicum)

Ornithogalum pyrenaicum, also called Prussian asparagus, wild asparagus, Bath Asparagus, Pyrenees star of Bethlehemor spiked star of Bethlehem, is a plant whose young flower shoots may be eaten as a vegetable, similar to asparagus.

The common name “Bath Asparagus” comes from the fact it was once abundant near the city of the same name inEngland.

 

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Wild leek (Allium tricoccum)

Allium tricoccum — known as the ramp, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, wild garlic, and, in French, ail sauvage and ail des bois — is an early spring vegetable, a perennial wild onion. It has a strong garlic-like odor and a pronounced onion flavor

Ramps are found across North America, from the U.S. state of South Carolina to Canada. They are popular in the cuisines of the rural upland South and in the Canadian province of Quebec when they emerge in the springtime. Ramps also have a growing popularity in upscale restaurants throughout North America.
The flavor, a combination of onions and strong garlic, or as food writer Jane Snow once described it, “like fried green onions with a dash of funky feet, “ is adaptable to almost any food style.
In central Appalachia, ramps are most commonly fried with potatoes in bacon fat or scrambled with eggs and served with bacon, pinto beans and cornbread. Ramps can also be pickled or used in soups and other foods in place of onions and garlic.

Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum)

Allium fistulosum L. (Welsh onion, Japanese bunching onion) is a perennial onion. Other names that may be applied to this plant include green onion, spring onion, escallion, and salad onion. These names are ambiguous, as they may also be used to refer to any young green onion stalk, whether grown from Welsh onions, common bulb onions, or other similar members of the genus Allium. (see scallion) The species is very similar in taste and odor to the related bulb onion, Allium cepa, and hybrids between the two (tree onions) exist.

The Welsh onion, however, does not develop bulbs, and possesses hollow leaves (“fistulosum” means “hollow”) and scapes. Large varieties of the Welsh onion resemble the leek, such as the Japanese ‘negi’, whilst smaller varieties resemble chives. Many Welsh onions can multiply by forming perennial evergreen clumps. Next to culinary use, it is also grown in a bunch as an ornamental plant.
Historically, the Welsh onion was known as the cibol.
 
The name “Welsh onion” has become a misnomer in modern English, as Allium fistulosum is not indigenous to Wales. “Welsh” preserves the original meaning of the Old English word “welisc”, or Old German “welsche”, meaning “foreign” (compare wal- in “walnut”, of the same etymological origin). The species originated in Asia, possibly Siberia or China.

 

Shallot (Allium cepa Aggregatum group)

The shallot (Allium cepa var. aggregatum, or A. cepa Aggregatum group) is the botanical variety of Allium cepa to which the multiplier onion also belongs. It was formerly classified as the species A. ascalonicum, a name now considered a synonym of the correct name. In Australia, the term “shallot” can also refer to scallions, while the term eschalot is used to refer to the shallot described in this article. The term “shallot” is further used for the French gray shallot or griselle, Allium oschaninii, a species growing wild from Central to Southwest Asia, which has been considered to be the “true shallot” by many[citation needed], and to the Persian shallot, A. stipitatum, from the Zagros mountains. 

As a variety of onion, shallots taste somewhat like a common onion, but have a sweeter, milder, and yet richer and more complex flavor. Shallots tend to be more expensive than onions. They can be stored for at least 6 months.
Shallots are extensively cultivated for use in fresh cooking, in addition to being pickled. Finely sliced deep-fried shallots are used as a condiment in Asian cuisine (often eaten with porridge).

 

Spring Onion/Scallion (Allium wakegi)

Scallions (also known as green onions, spring onions, salad onions, green shallots, onion sticks, or syboes), are the edible plants of various Allium species, all of which are “onion-like”, having hollow green leaves and lacking a fully developed root bulb.

Harvested for their taste, they are milder than most onions. They may be cooked or used raw as a part of salads or Asian recipes. Diced scallions are used in soup, noodle and seafood dishes, as well as sandwiches, curries or as part of a stir fry. To make many Eastern sauces, the bottom quarter-inch of scallions are commonly removed before use. Cut at root level.

 

 

Onion (Allium cepa)

The onion (Allium cepa), also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion (A. fistulosum), Egyptian onion (A. ×proliferum), and Canada onion (A. canadense). The name “wild onion” is applied to a number of Allium species.

The vast majority of cultivars of A. cepa belong to the ‘common onion group’ (A. cepa var. cepa) and are usually referred to simply as ‘onions’. The ‘Aggregatum group’ of cultivars (A. cepa var. aggregatum) includes both shallots and potato onions. 
 
Allium cepa is known only in cultivation, but related wild species occur in Central Asia. The most closely related species include Allium vavilovii (Popov & Vved.) and Allium asarense (R.M. Fritsch & Matin) from Iran. However, Zohary and Hopf warn that “there are doubts whether the A. vavilovii collections tested represent genuine wild material or only feral derivatives of the crop
 
Onions can be used in almost every type of food, including cooked foods and fresh salads and as a spicy garnish. Usually chopped or sliced, they are found in a large number of recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world’s cultures. Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy, pungent, mild or sweet. The whole plant is edible and is used as food in some form or another.

Nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica)

Nopales (from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads) are a vegetable made from the young cladophyll (pad) segments of prickly pear, carefully peeled to remove the spines. These fleshy pads are flat and about hand-sized. They can be purple or green. They are particularly common in their native Mexico, where the plant is eaten commonly and regularly forms part of a variety of Mexican cuisine dishes. Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica, although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible.

Nopales are generally sold fresh in Mexico. In more recent years bottled, or canned versions are available mostly for export. Less often dried versions are available. Used to prepare nopalitos, they have a light, slightly tart flavor, like green beans, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture. In most recipes the mucilaginous liquid they contain is included in the cooking. They are at their most tender and juicy in the spring. 
 
Nopales are very rich in insoluble and especially soluble dietary fiber. They are also rich in vitamins (especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, but also riboflavin and vitamin B6) and minerals (especially magnesium, potassium, and manganese, but also iron and copper). Nopales have a high calcium content, but the nutrient is not biologically available because it is present as calcium oxalate, which is neither highly soluble nor easily absorbed through the intestinal wall.  Addition of nopales also reduces the glycemic effect of a mixed meal.  Nopales are low carbohydrate and may help in the treatment of diabetes.

Lotus root (Nelumbo nucifera)

Nelumbo nucifera, known by a number of names including Indian Lotus, Sacred Lotus, Bean of India, or simply Lotus, is a plant in the monogeneric family Nelumbonaceae. The Linnaean binomial Nelumbo nucifera is the currently recognized name for this species, which has been classified under the former names, Nelumbium speciosum and Nymphaea nelumbo, among others. Names other than Nelumbo nucifera are obsolete synonyms and should not be used in current works. This plant is an aquatic perennial. Under favorable circumstances its seeds may remain viable for many years, with the oldest recorded lotus germination being from that of seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lakebed in northeastern China.

A common misconception is referring to the lotus as a waterlily (Nymphaea), an entirely different plant as can be seen from the center of the flower, which clearly lacks the structure that goes on to form the distinctive circular seed pod in the Nelumbo nucifera. Waterlilies come in various colors, whereas the lotus has flowers ranging in hues of white to hot pink.
Native to Tropical Asia and Queensland, Australia, it is commonly cultivated in water gardens. The white and pink lotuses are national flowers of India and Vietnam, respectively.
The distinctive dried seed heads, which resemble the spouts of watering cans, are widely sold throughout the world for decorative purposes and for dried flower arranging.
 
It is used as a vegetable in soups, deep-fried, stir-fried, and braised dishes and the roots are also used in traditional Asian herbal medicine. Petals, leaves, and rhizome can also all be eaten raw, but there is a risk of parasite transmission (e.g., Fasciolopsis buski): it is therefore recommended that they be cooked before eating.
Lotus rootlets are often pickled with rice vinegar, sugar, chili and/or garlic. It has a crunchy texture with sweet-tangy flavours. In Asian cuisine, it is popular with salad, prawns, sesame oil and/or coriander leaves. Lotus roots have been found to be rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, copper, and manganese, while very low in saturated fat.

Kurrat, or Egyptian leek (Allium ampeloprasum var. kurrat)

Kurrat, or Egyptian leek (Allium ampeloprasum var. kurrat), is grown in the Middle East for its leaves. It is closely related to elephant garlic and leeks and is generally regarded as being in the same species, though it is also commonly listed as Allium kurrat.

Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes group)

Kohlrabi (German turnip) (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes group) is a low, stout cultivar of the cabbage that will grow almost anywhere.

The name comes from the German Kohl (“cabbage”) plus Rübe ~ Rabi (Swiss German variant) (“turnip”), because the swollen stem resembles the latter. The same roots are also found in the German word Kohlrübe, which refers to the rutabaga.
Kohlrabi has been created by artificial selection for lateral meristem growth (a swollen, nearly spherical shape); its origin in nature is the same as that of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts: They are all bred from, and are the same species as, the wild cabbage plant (Brassica oleracea).
The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter, with a higher ratio of flesh to skin. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple, although much less sweet.
Except for the Gigante cultivar, spring-grown kohlrabi much over 5 cm in size tend to be woody, as do full-grown kohlrabi much over perhaps 10 cm in size; the Gigante cultivar can achieve great size while remaining of good eating quality. The plant matures in 55–60 days after sowing. Approximate weight is 150 g and has good standing ability for up to 30 days after maturity.
Kohlrabi can be eaten raw as well as cooked.
There are several varieties commonly available, including White Vienna, Purple Vienna, Grand Duke, Gigante (also known as “Superschmelz”), Purple Danube, and White Danube. Coloration of the purple types is superficial: the edible parts are all pale yellow. The leafy greens can also be eaten.