1. Fava Beans
My memories of Fava beans are with my dad eating them out of the pod, raw, dipped in sea salt. Easy and perfect. Originally from the Mediterranean, they can used like any bean in salads but my favorite is a Pugliese dish with Fava pesto Orecchiete with Wild Chicory . Or make a Fava Hummus-spread on a crusty grilled bruschetta with drizzle of your best olive oil.
Nutrition Rx: High in Protein, Fiber, Folate, Vitamin b-6 and thiamin
Finocchio! which is the Neopolitan slang describing this flamboyant vegetable. This vegetables is closely related to the Umbellifereae and related to parsley, carrots and dill. The taste is crunchy, sweet with a tinge of anise. Use raw to texture to your favorite salad- chop the feathery green leaves into your next dip (use like dill) and back in Olive with Proscutto for a great appetizer or side.
Nutrition Rx: Vitamin C, Fiber, Potassium, Calcium
This was another staple in our Italian garden- this crisp, peppery root vegetable that we used to pull out of the ground and just add some sea salt! Perfection.Brassicaceae family that was domesticated in Europe in pre-Roman times and sometimes used a s a companion plant to other crops because its pungent spiciness keeps pests away-. Use this spicynicess to add crutch and pepper to your salad and cole slaw- see my Radish Cole Slaw recipe here!
Nutrition Rx: Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium.
Asparagus officinalis, and this vegetable has also been used as medicine for centuries and first mentioned by Galen (Greek Physician) second century AD. I know that his natural diuretic properties and
Certain compounds in asparagus are metabolized to yield sulfur-containing products which give urine a characteristic smell- thats actually a good thing! Great grilled alongside eggs with some shaved parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Rx: Potassium, Fiber, Folate, B6, Vitamin K, Zinc
The edible flower bud originated in the Mediterranean and also has been used by ancient Greeks and Romans for its medicinal benefits. The antioxidant compounds in this veg are silymarin, caffein acid and ferulic acid which protect body against free radicals- and if constipated the fiber will really get you going!
They are great grilled or in salads and add to a flatbread (watch me make my fav Artichoke Grilled Olive Flatbread here!). (Also see: Artichoke, King of Winter Vegetables here!)
Nutrition Rx: High in Fiber, Vitamin C and Magnesium and Potassium, Folic Acid,
While more mainstream, this leafy green is a powerhouse of nutrition! It is filled with antioxidants and is best eaten raw rather than frozen. If you do steam it do it very quickly before it looses its vitamins. Make the base for all your salads! Check out Recipe for Tuna Spinach Salad here!
Nutrition Rx: High in Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and Iron and Vitamin K