Are you having trouble thinking of vegetables that start with “F”? You’ve come to the right place! You will see some familiar names here, such as Fennel and Fava Beans. However, we also found some mysterious vegetables you might have never heard of like Fiddlehead Fern and Fingerroot. Let’s dive in…
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Fennel is a pleasant-smelling perennial herb native to the Mediterranean. The plant has a rooted bulb and thick, ribbed stems. The foliage and flowers sprout off the stem. Every part of the Fennel plant, including its seeds, stems, leaves, and flowers is edible. Young Fennel plants are the most delicious and succulent, but older plants have a rich licorice-like flavor with citrus undertones.
You can eat Fennel raw or cook it in various ways such as sauteing, frying, and braising. Use the flowers, leaves, or seeds as garnish, while the bulb makes a great addition to dishes that include other root vegetables. You can also Fennel in desserts if you enjoy citrus flavors.
Fenugreek, also called Greek Clover, Greek Hay, and Methi, is a herb native to southeastern Europe and Asia. It is a staple spice in Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, often used to flavor pickles, curries, lentil soup, and vegetable dishes. The leaves of the Fenugreek plant serve as a herb and have a light, grassy, and slightly bitter flavor reminiscent of fennel and celery. Older plants bear sword-shaped pods which hold aromatic, strongly-flavored seeds used as a spice.
Fenugreek serves many culinary purposes. You can add fresh Fenugreek leaves to salads, while ground and toasted seeds add complexity to many dishes.
Fairy Ring Mushrooms
Fairy Ring mushrooms, also known as Mousseron mushrooms, Scotch Bonnet, Bonnet mushrooms, and Fairy Ring Champignons, are very small mushrooms with caps as big as one to two centimeters. They get their name due to their unique growth pattern, which is in the shape of a ring rather than the conventional clusters most mushrooms grow in.
As these mushrooms mature, the bell-shaped cap becomes flattened. Cooked Fairy Ring mushrooms have a tender yet crisp texture and cinnamon-like aroma. Their flavor is mild, earthy, and nutty which goes well in sandwiches, risotto, and ragout.
Field Mushrooms, also called Gewone mushrooms, Anise mushrooms, Horse mushrooms, Almond mushrooms, and Snowball mushrooms, are a widely eaten species of mushroom closely related to the White Button mushroom. Another species of mushrooms Agaricus campestris is also called Field Mushroom, but we are referring to Agaricus arvensis here.
Field mushrooms vary widely in appearance and size based on age. Young Field mushrooms have small, round ivory caps while mature ones have a large, flattened yellow cap. When cooked, these mushrooms acquire a tender, slightly chewy texture and earthy, nutty flavor. These mushrooms have a distinct aroma reminiscent of anise.
Fava beans, also called Broad beans and Faba beans, are one of the oldest varieties of beans, cultivated as far back as 6800 to 6500 BC. They were prevalent as a food source, livestock feed, and even used in religious rituals in the Ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations. To this day, Fava Beans are a staple ingredient in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
These beans come in long pods and have a mildly sweet and earthy flavor. Young Fava beans are generally eaten raw, while mature ones are tough and need to be cooked. The beans are removed from the pod, then blanched to remove the thin protective coating. You can fry, roast, steam, and stew Fava beans.
French beans, or simply Green beans, are one of the most popular vegetables in the world. They are closely related to beans native to Central and South America, where they have been an important food source for thousands of years. French beans look similar to pea pods but are longer and eaten whole rather than with the seeds removed.
Many favor French beans for their crisp texture and sweet, grassy flavor. They are often used to add a touch of earthy, vegetal flavor to dishes. These beans come in many varieties and striking colors such as purple, cream, and dark green.
French Sorrel originated in the Highland regions of Southern France and became vastly popular during the 16th century. There are other varieties of Sorrel that grow in England and across Europe, but French Sorrel is the most popular. French Sorrel now grows throughout temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere on dry, well-drained soil. The plant produces spinach-like leaves used for purees, soups, sauces, and tarts. French Sorrel has a delicate flavor and succulent texture compared to other Sorrel varieties.
Frisée is a type of chicory that dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. It is a curly form of true endives, closely related to the Belgian endive. In the United States, Frisée is called Curly endive, while the name chicorée Frisée is used in France.
Frisée looks like a ball of curly leaves with a color gradient. The leaves towards the outside are bright green, while the ones towards the inside are yellow. The leaves have a slightly bitter flavor, while the inside is much milder in flavor. Frisée is a great addition to salads due to its tender yet subtly crisp texture.
Fiddlehead Ferns feature a small, tightly coiled structure connected to a short stem. They have a smooth surface which is sometimes covered with small, brown scales. Fiddlehead ferns offer a crisp texture combined with a woody, grassy flavor reminiscent of artichokes, mushrooms, and pine nuts. You can use them for pasta, salads, and various egg dishes such as omelets, eggs benedict, and frittatas.
Fiddlehead Ferns are one of the most popular varieties of ferns, which have grown wild and served as a food source since ancient times. These ferns grow alongside river banks, lakes, and ponds and generally prefer moist soil. Rather than commercial cultivation, they are collected from the wild and sold at specialty markets, grocers, and farmer’s markets.
Finger Limes look like small, elongated cucumbers with leathery skin. They are native to Australia, namely the rainforests in Southern Queensland and New South Wales. The fruits are often called “rainforest pearls” in eastern Australia for their distinct appearance. The pulp contains small vesicles or pearls which hold sweet-tart liquid. When eaten, the pearls create a popping sensation and release a burst of flavor. Finger Limes are favored by chefs across the world for their minty fragrance and floral lemon-lime flavor. These versatile fruits make a wonderful addition to salads, seafood dishes, cocktails, and cakes.
Fat Hen is a fast-growing weed known by many names such as White Goosefoot, Lamb’s Quarters, Dungweed, Grasse Poulette, Fette Henne, and Pigweed. It is a member of the beet and spinach family, closely related to Tree Spinach. Fat Hen is easily recognizable due to its lance-shaped grey-green leaves that resemble duck’s foot.
The leaves are rich in iron, protein, vitamin A, calcium, and many other nutrients. Commonly enjoyed in various parts of Europe, they make a great addition to sandwiches, soups, and salads. The plant also produces edible seeds that can serve as garnish.
Flax plants produce fiber-rich seeds which serve a variety of culinary purposes. Flaxseeds are a superfood, offering many powerful health benefits such as a good dose of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. The seeds that are available whole, ground, and in oil form have a nutty flavor. Use them in baking or meat dishes to add nutty, earthy flavors. You can also garnish salads, cereals, oatmeal, and soups with flaxseed to add crunchiness.
There are many health benefits of including Flaxseed in your diet. There is evidence that Flaxseed can reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes, cancer, and diabetes. Even incorporating a spoonful of Flaxseed in your daily diet can be very beneficial for you.
Field Blewit Mushroom
The Field Blewit mushroom, also called Blue-leg mushroom, is a species of edible mushroom that commonly grows in grassy areas across Europe. It is closely related to the Wood Blewit mushroom, although not as common. The areas where this mushroom widely grows include Ireland, Britain, and many regions of mainland Europe.
The Field Blewit mushroom has a beige to greyish-brown cap and a stem tinted with lilac hues. Since there are no mushrooms that look similar to the Field Blewit mushroom, you are safe from any poisonous look-alikes when foraging for this mushroom. These mushrooms go well in dishes with pale meat such as pork, veal, and chicken.
Field Pepperweed, also called Field Cress and Pepperwort, is an invasive weed that commonly grows alongside plants from the Brassicaceae or mustard family. They are native to Europe, but common in North America and generally regarded as an invasive weed. The weed also grows racemes of attractive white flowers which are its most notable feature.
Field Pepperweed bears edible leaves and fruit. The leaves can be eaten raw or added to salads, while the fruit and seeds can serve as garnish. The leaves, seeds, and fruit have a mustard-like and peppery flavor that goes well in soups, salads, and sandwiches.
Fiore Viola Artichoke
The Fiore Viola artichoke is a variety of artichokes created by growers in France and Italy and grown in Lompoc, California. They are large and globe-shaped with deep purple outer leaves, which lighten towards the center of the artichoke. The Fiore Viola variety is much sweeter than conventional artichoke varieties. Due to their deep purple color, these artichokes are high in antioxidants because of the presence of anthocyanin.
Fiore Viola artichokes can be prepared the same way as other artichokes. Pull back the leaves to reveal the choke, and scoop it out for the heart. You can add Fiore Viola artichoke hearts to pasta, pizza, and any dish that calls for artichokes.
Flat Beans are native to the tropical regions of Asia and Africa and are very popular in Indian cuisine. The beans have many names including Valore beans and Indian bean in the United States, and Warlor papdi, Desi papdi, and Val papdi in India. They are long, flat, and medium in size with 2-4 flattened seeds. Flat beans have a vegetal flavor with a drier texture than other bean varieties.
In India, common dishes that incorporate Flat beans are curry and stir-fry. They often serve as a staple in vegetable dishes or a side dish for meat dishes. The flowers and young leaves of the plant are also edible. You can use them as garnish or add them to salads.
The Fluted Pumpkin, also called Fluted gourd, Ugu, and Ikong-ubong, is a tropical vine that grows in West Africa which produces edible seeds and leaves. The Fluted Pumpkin grows in many areas of West Africa, but is mainly cultivated in southeastern Nigeria for culinary and medicinal purposes. While the fruit is inedible, the leaves are rich in protein and fat.
The stems of the plant are high in potassium and iron, while the seeds are abundant in protein and fats. The leaves also contain a high amount of antioxidants and have antimicrobial properties. In Nigeria, the shoots and leaves of the plant serve as the main ingredients in a nutrient-rich soup called ofe egwusi. The dark seeds are either eaten whole, ground for soup, or made into fermented porridge.
The Taiwanese Flat Cabbage is a new variety of cabbage, prized for its sweet taste and hardiness. While originally created in Taiwan, the cabbage now grows at higher elevations in cooler climates. It is available at local markets and specialty grocers across Asia, Canada, the United States, and Northern Europe.
This flat cabbage has an unusual shape with a flat head. It consists of thin, loosely packed layers and the outer leaves range in color from green to purple. The cabbage is crunchy and succulent, with a mildly sweet and grassy flavor. It is suitable for raw and cooked applications. The most common use for Flat cabbage is Taiwanese-style kimchi.
Field Marrow, better known as Malabar cucumbers, Madras cucumbers, and Mangalore cucumber, are the fruits of a creeping vine that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. While their exact origin is unknown, these cucumbers are commonly found in Southern India and are a staple ingredient in many traditional dishes. They are often a part of traditional Indian curries, chutneys, and stir-fry vegetable dishes.
These cucumbers are small, thick, and range in color from green to orange. Young Malabar cucumbers have firm flesh, while mature, orange ones have soft, mildly crisp flesh. These juicy, succulent cucumbers have a mild, slightly sweet, and floral flavor. Use them in salads, pickles, chutneys, and curries for a refreshing flavor.
Field Mustard, also called the Flowering Rapeseed and Nanohana, is a traditional Japanese springtime vegetable. Highly prized in Japan, its yellow blossoms indicate the start of spring and most of Japan’s Field Mustard grows in the Chiba Prefecture area.
The flower buds and leaves of the Nanohana plant are common in Japanese cooking. They have a bittersweet, grassy flavor similar to Broccolini. The leaves and shoots are not eaten raw but fried, steamed, boiled, pickled, or fermented. Nanohana ohitashi is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of blanched leaves and flower buds served with dashi, toasted sesame seeds, and soy sauce.
There are six major types of corn: flour corn, flint corn, dent corn, pod corn, popcorn, and sweet corn. Flint corn, also called Indian corn or Calico corn, refers to a variant of corn where the kernels have a hard outer covering. The hard outer covering protects the soft, starchy inside. Flint corn comes in a variety of colors, often also used as Thanksgiving decorations. You can make colorful popcorn with Flint corn, but its common use is for making hominy.
Fingerroot, also called Chinese keys, Chinese ginger, Lesser Galangal, is a kind of ginger native to China and Southeast Asia. The vegetable gets its name due to its structure, since the rhizomes look similar to fingers growing out of a center piece. There are many varieties of Fingerroot that vary in color and aroma.
Fingerroot is a staple in Javanese cuisine in Indonesia. It works as a spice and also has medicinal properties. It is also popular in other cuisines in Southeast Asia. For example, the Thai dish kaeng tai pla, which is a salty fish curry uses Fingerroot. In Cambodian cuisine, Fingerroot serves as an ingredient in spice/herb pastes used in Khmer cuisine.
Field peas, also called Cowpeas, Conch peas, and Cream peas, are legumes which are a type of Southern peas. These legumes aren’t peas but look similar to a pea pod with seeds contained within. They are slightly cylindrical in shape and flattened, giving them an appearance similar to beans rather than peas.
When young, you can eat Field peas the same way as beans. They have a creamy texture and mild nutty and sweet flavor. However, when the pods turn beige, they become dry and are sold as dried beans.
Fried Chicken Mushroom
Fried Chicken mushrooms, also called Clustered Domecap mushrooms, are small to medium-sized mushrooms native to North America since ancient times. Young Fried Chikcen mushrooms have a dome-shaped cap that is either beige, dark brown, or gray. As the mushrooms mature, the cap turns upward to expose the gills.
Cooked Fried Chicken mushrooms have a meaty texture and rich, nutty flavor. They get their name due to their texture, which is similar to fried chicken. Fried Chicken mushrooms are a prized variety in Japan and called “hatake-shimeji”.
Field Garlic, also called Stag’s garlic, False garlic, and Crow garlic, is a wild plant native to North Africa, certain regions in the Middle East, and Europe. It grows in a bunch and has long, narrow blue-green leaves with pointed white tips.Often hidden in vineyards, fields, and pastures, it is usually discovered due to its strong scent.
The leaves have a strong onion-like scent and a rich garlicky flavor. You can use Field Garlic the same way as scallions or chives. Chop the leaves into small pieces and use as garnish for pasta, ramen, stir-fry, and soup.