Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family but have their own distinct flavor. Leeks are very versatile and work well cooked in various recipes or as a side dish. Two of the world’s most famous soups, Scotland’s Cock-a-leekie and France’s creamy Vichyssoise, are based on them.
The juiciest fruit in the stone fruit family, plums come in many different varieties, some sweet, some slightly more tart. As there are so many different varieties, colour isn’t a useful guide to ripeness. Instead, look for smooth, unbruised skin with a chalky bloom and firm flesh that gives a little when it’s gently squeezed.
Grouse have a very strong and distinctive flavour. Their diet is restricted to the Heather on the moorlands in northern Britain where they live, and this is why their flavor is ‘heathery’.
Usually, the deep purple roots of beetroot are eaten boiled, roasted or raw, and either alone or combined with any salad vegetable. A large proportion of the commercial production is processed into boiled and sterilized beets or into pickles.
In Eastern Europe, beet soup, such as borscht, is a popular dish. In Indian cuisine, chopped, cooked, spiced beet is a common side dish.
Beetroot contains the mineral silica. This helps the body to utilise calcium, which is important for musculo-skeletal health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate – its strong aniseed flavour leaves no room for the middle ground. When eaten raw, the texture is crisp and the flavor is quite assertive and aniseedy. Cooked, it’s softer and more mellow.
Chard is a leafy green vegetable often used in Mediterranean cooking. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are cooked or sauteed; the bitterness fades with cooking, leaving a refined flavor which is more delicate than that of cooked spinach.
Lamb refers to the meat of a sheep younger than one-year-old. An excellent source of protein and Vitamin B12 which is essential for red blood cell production and nerve function. Lamb is also rich in saturated fat and calories and frequent consumption of lamb can lead to weight gain.