10 types of forgotten vegetables

There are dozens of types of forgotten vegetables. Some vegetables are more forgotten than others. Vegetables that have been forgotten in the Netherlands are sometimes still widely eaten in other countries. In the Netherlands, supermarkets do not often sell these ‘forgotten vegetables’, but they can still be found at the greengrocer. Other options include a vegetable garden or buying from a local farmer. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Parsnip / Source: Jonathunder, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)


  • Parsnip
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Palm cabbage
  • Black radish
  • Kohlrabi
  • romaine lettuce
  • Crosnes
  • Swiss chard or swiss chard
  • Cardoon
  • Middle evening primrose



Parsnip is a vegetable that can be described as a white-yellow carrot. The taste of cooked parsnips is very sweet. In the past it was used as an alternative sweetener in cakes and pies. You can easily stir-fry parsnips. Grated, parsnip root can even be eaten raw; it is a nice addition to a salad or raw vegetable dish.

Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichokes grow to two meters high and have beautiful yellow flowers. It is a nice ornamental plant. The root tubers grow underground. These don’t get too big; much smaller than a potato. The Jerusalem artichoke, on the other hand, is nice and sweet. Just like parsnips, boiled Jerusalem artichoke was also used as a sugar substitute in the past.

Palm cabbage

Palm cabbage is a cabbage that you harvest from the bottom up. If you cut off a few lower leaves every day or every other day for a salad or stir-fry, you will get a plant that takes the shape of a palm tree. Palm cabbage is a tasty type of cabbage and has the great advantage for the vegetable garden grower that this type of cabbage can be harvested from November to February. It grows through the winter, even during a period of frost. Moreover, kale tastes sweeter once it has been exposed to frost.

Black radish

Black radish is also called black radish. It is related to the red radish and the radish. Black radish tastes slightly less sharp than a radish and you can therefore quickly eat more of it. It is sold in the spring at organic markets or in organic stores.


Kohlrabi is perhaps the least forgotten vegetable from this list. It is sometimes found in the supermarket and is even grown on a reasonable scale in the Netherlands. Kohlrabi is a tuber that grows above ground. In fact, the tuber is a thickening of the stem. You can eat kohlrabi raw or cooked.

romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce is also called romaine lettuce. This type of lettuce was already common in ancient Egypt 4,000 years ago

Crosnes / Source: Jonathaneo, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

ate. There are several types; especially the light green and dark green varieties are eaten. Romaine lettuce is a nice alternative lettuce leaf for an original salad.


Crosnes are also called Japanese potatoes. They arise underground from a plant that we call the Japanese Andorn. They are prepared in the same way as new potatoes. So you can cook, bake or fry them. They seem a bit small; they are shaped like shrimp, except they always have thick rings. Crosne actually looks a bit like little Michelin men. It is a bit of a hassle to remove sand from the tubers. Wash them in plenty of water and brush them with, for example, a dishwashing brush that you only use to clean vegetables.

Swiss chard or swiss chard

There are different types of Swiss chard. Some types of chard are simply the leaves of the well-known vegetable, the beet. Other chard varieties can only be eaten as leafy vegetables. You regularly see this plant in vegetable gardens. It is an easy plant because it grows again every year and the harvest can take a long time; Stir-frying a few leaves every day means that the plant produces new leaves.


The taste of cardoon is somewhere in the middle between celery, asparagus and artichoke. The plant comes from the Mediterranean

Cardoon / Source: Wouter Hagens, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Sea area. You sometimes see it in a Moroccan greengrocer in the Netherlands, but the Dutch have forgotten this tasty vegetable. Cardoon is also widely eaten in Italy and France. You can eat cardoon raw or cooked. It is an ideal vegetable for a summer stew.

Middle evening primrose

The tubers of middle evening primrose are edible and taste slightly like ham. They also look a bit pink, just like ham. In France it is called ‘vegetable ham’, or ‘jambon végétale’. The nice thing about middle evening primrose is that the flower is particularly beautiful. This plant is not only beautiful, nutritious and tasty, but it also belongs in the standard arsenal of phytotherapeutic medicinal herbs.

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