Top 10 Kitchen Garden Vegetables
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
January 11, 2011
Filed Under Garden and Lawn
Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Catalogs.com Info Guru
Summertime and the living is easy. If you have a garden, you’re all set.
Right before dinner you can stroll through the garden and pick your choices fresh off the vine. There is nothing better than garden food. If you don’t have a garden, make your way to the local farmers’ market and stock up.
The top 10 kitchen garden vegetables for the cook are as follows:
Keep the kids and grand kids happy by planting pumpkins. Let your kids sell the pumpkins they grow and make some money in the fall. People need pumpkins at Halloween for decorative purposes. Pumpkins can be quite big and are very orange. The innards of the pumpkin are used to make pumpkin pie.
Eggplants are simply beautiful, even if you’re not crazy about eating them. Admire them. They are aubergine colored, which is a fancy way to say purple. They’re big, with a shiny skin and although considered a vegetable, they’re really a fruit, but we won’t tell anybody. You can make eggplant parmesan.
Summer means good eating, which includes salads that can be created out of leaf lettuce, bib lettuce, romaine and arugula, all of which you can grow in your garden. Lettuce comes to fruition early in the season. The best possible way to utilize lettuce is to make a big batch of wilted lettuce, which is so good it will make you cry in delight. Gather the lettuce, wash it off. Fry some bacon. Remove the bacon from the pan and pour off some, but not all, of the bacon grease. Add vinegar and sugar to the grease and bring it to a boil. Pour this over the lettuce. Crunch up the bacon and toss it into the salad and top it off with sliced boiled eggs. Add salt to taste.
Green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers and hot peppers, jalapeno peppers, you name it. Peppers are riotously colorful and tasty and can be used in salads or can be stuffed. If you are a hot and spicy eater you can put them in your salsa dip or eat them raw, if you are really brave.
6. Sugar snap peas
Sugar Snap Peas are yummy. Pull them off the vine and eat them right there in the garden. What a treat! Snap peas are great for stir fry. A delicious way to prepare snap peas is to put them in a wok, sauté them in canola oil until they are crisp but still somewhat tender. Add vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, garlic and cayenne and sauté for another 60 seconds. Add basil and toss. Sprinkle the concoction with sesame seeds. Sugar snap peas are a cool weather crop and manifest in a vine, which will require some support, although some bush varieties do not need support.
What would summer be without regular servings of cole slaw? Cabbage can be used for slaw or cabbage rolls. You can also make sauerkraut.
Slice them up and eat them raw. Pour some vinegar over them, toss in some onions, sprinkle with salt and eat away. They’re also delicious when mixed with sour cream and good on sandwiches. Cucumbers can become pickles.
3. Green beans
Green beans are a staple year-round. Cook up a batch, add some salt and bacon, let it simmer, and you’ve got a wonderful vegetable that is tasty and good for you.
Fresh herbs are a must have. You can dry them, snip them, blend them… Herbs can be frozen and eaten throughout the winter months. To grow your own herbs, you don’t need a large garden, but it is worth dedicating the space to this kitchen garden crop.
You either love, love, LOVE them or hate them. People usually aren’t indifferent when it comes to tomatoes. Firstly, tomatoes are beautiful. Even if you don’t like them, you have to admire their color—majestic reds, deep yellows and orange hued. Tomatoes are extremely versatile. You can pluck them off the vine and pop them in your mouth or you can use them in salads or create sauces or soups or tomato paste out of them. Tomatoes can be canned and later eaten in the middle of winter when you’re dying for a garden tomato. Tomatoes can be quite large (beefsteak) and irregular shaped or globe-shaped. They can be small and round (cherry tomatoes) or plum shaped (plum tomatoes.) Tomatoes are from the nightshade family, along with eggplants and potatoes. They are native to South America. Originally, they were thought poisonous. Tomatoes didn’t gain popularity as a kitchen garden vegetable until the 1900s.