Whilst many vegetables could be considered attractive to look at, one or two could be considered works of art. Turks Turban is one and borlotti beans another. These Italian beans have pink and white splashed outer pods hiding several rich creamy white beans with a Jackson Pollock of purple, pink or red splashes. They are a beautiful as well as an easy to grow and delicious addition to your allotment.
The tomato and potato breeder Tom Wagner is responsible for some of our more unusual tomato plants including Green Zebra. Dancing with Smurfs is another that got tongues wagging at my local allotment.
Lumpy, bumpy and decidedly funky. Like a spaceship wrapped multicoloured silk, Turks Turban is the Salvador Dali of the cucurbit world.
Winter is usually thought to be the time to hunker down on the allotment, to eat root vegetables carefully stored, preserves or the rugged green brassicas the only green vegetables to survive the cold.
If you are a keen gardener you are likely to come across James Wong. James is famous (notorious?) for introducing unusual vegetables to British gardens and kitchens. One of the plants he recommends is Shungiku, a tall and if you let it flower, quite a cheery Chrysanthemum.
I grew these runner beans this year after a friend described them as “the best runner beans they had ever grown”. With a recommendation like that, who wouldn’t want to try them?
You would be forgiven for thinking these crisps are beetroot. In fact they are a purple potato called purple majesty.
Sungold is the taste topping tomato sensation. This cherry tomatoes unusual orange colour and intense sweet taste make it a joy to eat and is almost universally popular with amateur growers
This is a beautiful fresh, light and zingy recipe that looks great so I often serve it for lunch with friends or part of an evening banquet. I first cooked this after a memorable trip to a local food market in Hong Kong where the fish was so fresh we chose it still swimming in the tank.