forum: Gardening / Growing

#1 Fri 25 Jul 08 2:17pm

Katie Jane

Occupation food and drink pr lady
From west sussex
Member since Sat 08 Sep 07

Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

Hi Jamie

I am a massive fan of trying out varieties of veg that you can't get in the supermarket - but I've never come accross Cardoon but having just googled it I'm willing to give it a go.
I do try and grow traditional veg in more unsusal varieties - I have some fantastic purple carrots, which look amazing when sliced raw, with their bright orange middles. Choggia beetroot is another big favourite of mine, I will definately be replanting this next year, it looks so great raw in salads.
I have also got some lovely yellow patty pan and and yellow courgettes, which I think are much sweeter than the normal green variety and look so lovely in my garden.
the other veg I have recently discovered are yellow french beans - smoother and more waxy than normal green ones and just delicious.
Would love any more ideas for unsual or hertiage varieties of veg, this is my first year of growing my own after being inspired by Jamie At Home and I am now hooked!


    Likes (0)

#2 Fri 25 Jul 08 2:20pm


Occupation Landscape Architect
From Lisboa
Member since Wed 16 Jul 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

Hi Jamie,
Here in Portugal we still use cardoon, I've called it cardamom, in this recipe I've posted earlier in the forum and in my blog! Here we use Cardoon to make some cheese, too. But I don't know how to do it.

Hen in 'Potagem' (?) the French way

for four persons:
4 big over-thighs of hen
200 gr fresh liver of hen
40 gr grains of mustard
30 gr of bacon
30 gr chopped onions
100 ml extra olive oil
20 gr of fresh mixed herbs (laurel, rosemary, salvia, nutmeg, clove)
3 gr of whole cardamom
12 slices of grilled tomatoes
240 gr potatoes in cubes
15 gr of chopped parsley
1,5 lt of water
Salt and pepper to taste

Mild frying of the over-thighs with the flavorings up to brownish, withdraw from the frying pan the hen and leave it separate, in the same frying pan put the liver till it gets a beautiful color. Withdraw the livers and take them to the oven for 3 minutes to get a firm consistence. The over-thighs (without the livers) and all other ingredients will be put in a saucepan to cook during 45 minutes in gentle fire. After that take out the hen and leave them separated.

Preparation of the french sauce:
With the broth from cooking the over-thighs mix in the mustard and add the liver (properly chopped in small cubes) and lead to the fire to acquire a good consistency, once having the ready sauce begin the assembly of the plate.

Assembly of the plate:
Put the hen over-thigh in a half of the plate, in another half, put the sauce, over it the grilled slices of tomatoes and, on the side the potatoes pulverizing them with the chopped parsley. Serve very warm.


There's another plant/fruit that's not some much used our days, only to make some alcohol (aguardente)... It's medronho, in latin Arbutus unedo. Don't know the english word. It's quite a natural alcoholic fruit, when I was younger I used to eat some from the trees and you can get easily drunk, but it's quite tasteful. You can only find these tree in inland, mediterranean places, but because it's autotonous (natural from mediterranean countries) it's quickly disapearing.

Last edited by yetsize (Fri 25 Jul 08 2:30pm)

    Likes (0)

#3 Fri 25 Jul 08 2:32pm


Forum super champ
Occupation living life
From Friuli northern Italy
Member since Mon 14 Jan 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

It seems to me that cardo could be used as well as  erba zolfina instead of caglio (rennet) to make milk coagulate into cheese

there has been a mostra nearby, in Aquileia, ancient roman cittÓ, organized by the local Seedsavers association, I would have gone by I didn't, there you find all sorts of adopted plants that are no more in vendita, and there fore dimenticate = forgotten

what a pity sad

    Likes (0)

#4 Fri 25 Jul 08 3:08pm


Occupation Landscape Architect
From Lisboa
Member since Wed 16 Jul 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

Here's another recipe that uses rose petals and orange tree flowers. Think it's not very common to use them, specially the orange flower...

Fig Jam

1 kg of 'Honey-drop' Fig
700 g sugar
2 sticks of cinnamon
50 g rose petals
6 cl water from orange tree flower

Cook the sugar, the figs and cinnamon togther. Let it boil, always mixing it, till you get the right consistence. Then join the orange flower water and the rose petals, envolve all, let it boil again and take from the fire. Put it in jars, close them very well and turn them upside down, leaving them to cool.
Serve  with toasts or use it in cakes or pies...

Just posted in my blog, too...

    Likes (0)

#5 Fri 25 Jul 08 3:29pm


Occupation Student of Grade 11
From Dhoedaam Tea Estate
Member since Wed 23 Jul 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

in north-eastern india people use banana flower, raw jackfruit, plantain in various ways and also various varieties of rice to make rice cakes called PITHA.

    Likes (0)

#6 Fri 25 Jul 08 3:48pm


Forum champ
Occupation Unemployed,
From Greece
Member since Fri 21 Mar 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

Cardoon here in greece is called something like wild artichoke or something.

Other "forgotten" vegetables that I have tasted are the wild versions of parsley, celery, radish, fennel and that kind of stuff. I have tried a vegetable/herbal pie from my granny with these wild veg and they taste amazing and I could say much better.

But they are wild so I don't no if you can plant and cultivate them. I will ask my granny today and she would surely now some stuff that people don't eat anymore!

    Likes (0)

#7 Fri 25 Jul 08 4:32pm


Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

Crabapple jam was more popular when I was young, probably it's still made in many places.

    Likes (0)

#8 Fri 25 Jul 08 4:46pm


Member since Mon 21 Jul 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

Hi Jamie/Everyone,
This is my first message since I registered and I am still trying to get the hang of how this works... please bear with me.
On the matter of forgotten vegetable and fruits, there are a few here in Madeira...maybe not forgotten, but certainly strange to other parts of Europe.
We have a fruit called "pitanga" - I believe the correct translation would be suriname cherry. It grows in Brazil and here. Has an acid taste and is absolutely amazing as a dessert topping/coulis or used to make a chilled pudding. If anyone is interested in a recipe...if of course you can get the fruit, I'd be happy to oblige...
We also have another strange fruit called "arašal". I'm not even sure of the Portuguese spelling (I could not find the word in the dictionary) and can terefore not give a translation. It is larger than the "pitanga", more of a yellow colour and sweeter.
Another fruit largely eaten here around this time of year comes from a cactus and is called "tabaibos". Hard to peel without getting a prickle caught in your finger...
As for veg, here we grow and eat a lot of "pimpinela" or chu chu.

    Likes (0)

#9 Fri 25 Jul 08 5:53pm


Occupation grocer / artist
From san francisco
Member since Sun 18 May 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

i got a bunch of purslane in my box
anybody have ideas on how to use?

    Likes (0)

#10 Fri 25 Jul 08 6:12pm


Occupation Personal trainer/ fitness instructor
From Northern Virginia
Member since Tue 22 Jul 08

Re: Vegetables and fruits that we have forgotten about....

My grandfather loved cardoons.

They were also apparently popular here in the states in George Washington's time.  There is a garden at Mount Vernon that supposedly grows the veggies that were on the plantation in that era. There are always cardoons. They serve them in the restaurant sometimes; scalloped like you might do oysters. Lots of cream and breadcrumbs on top. They were sometimes called poor mans oysters.

Last edited by jt4 (Fri 25 Jul 08 6:14pm)

    Likes (0)