Veggie ID Guide

Have you ever come across some greens or veggies you couldn't identify? We're here to help! Below is a reference tool you can use to identify your veggies by picture, plus some helpful cooking tips. Check out the Recipes and Cook with the Farmers tabs for more great ideas!

A delicious mildly bitter, mildly spicy salad green. Also very good lightly steamed, like spinach. It is native to the Mediterranean region of the world but grows very well in Maine and is now eaten all over the world. In Italy, arugula is commonly eaten on pizza or shredded and tossed with sun dried tomatoes and served over pasta. Arugula also makes a great substitute or addition to basil in pesto!

There is an endless list of ways to use basil! Add to pasta and pizza sauce, place leaves on top of slices of basil and mozzarella, and add it to pesto. An easy pesto recipe is 2 bunches of basil, 1/4 cup of olive oil, a small handful of nuts (pine nuts, pecans, or walnuts), a squeeze of lemon juice, and either salt to taste or 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese all blended together in a food processor until desired consistency is reached. Serve over pasta.


Green beans! Eat them raw, steamed, boiled, sauted, chopped up and added to salad,or roasted in the oven with olive oil and garlic. We grow a variety of green beans called Provider. It is a variety that produces well even in a cool summer.

Beets can be eaten in many ways. Did you know that beets' closest relative is chard? Beet leaves are delicious and can be cooked just like you cook chard. A few of the many ways to eat beets include: shredded raw on a salad, pickled in vinegar, roasted in the oven, sauted, wrapped in tinfoil and tossed into the coals of a campfire, juiced in a juicing machine, or made into Borscht - the traditional soup of Eastern and Central Europe.

Bok Choy

Translated literally, it means "white vegetable". In Chinese cooking, bok choi is often steamed, blanched, or sauteed quickly in oil. Bok choi is typically only lightly seasoned, usually with a variation of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and cooking wine and can be paired with shitake mushrooms, served alongside fish, or used in stir fry. In Korean cooking, bok choi is used in kimchi.


The name broccoli is Italian in origin, which means flowering top of a cabbage. For a healthy snack, broccoli can be used as a dipping vegetable along with carrots and celery. Hummus, blue cheese, and ranch make great dips! Broccoli can also be steamed or blanched. Try pouring a little bit of browned butter and almond slivers on top of steamed broccoli or quickly tossing steamed broccoli into a pan with oliv oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.

 Brussel sprouts look like baby cabbages. Brussel sprouts are commonly steamed, boiled, and roasted (at 350 degrees). Roasted brussel sprouts are delicious! Great roasting variations to try include: olive oil and balsamic vinegar; olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice; olive oil, pine nuts or almonds, and shredded parmesan. The possibilities are endless and all delicious! Brussel sprouts take nearly 5 months to mature but are worth the wait!

          Brussel sprouts
Cabbage is a versatile cooking medium - it can be shredded and used raw in slaws and salads, the leaves can be blanched to soften and then stuffed, stews and soups often call for cabbage, and many cultures pickle cabbage (think sauerkraut and kimchee). Purple and red cabbage make a beautiful fuchsia colored kraut. If you are stocking up for winter, cabbage is an excellent choice. It will remain in excellent condition in your vegetable drawer for 2+ months.

Freshly harvested cauliflower is surprisingly flavorful and is delicious raw or cooked. Try roasting the florets with olive oil, cumin, and curry powder served with crumbled feta on top. Or lighten up mashed potatoes by incorporating some cauliflower puree. Aloo gobi is a fast and delicious Indian dish of cauliflower and potatoes - you can find recipes on the internet. Cauliflower is high in fiber, folate, and vitamin C.

Eating raw carrots only releases 3% of the beta carotene during digestion whereas cooking, pulping, or juicing can release up to 39% of the beta carotene. So, try roasting carrots with olive oil and cumin or curry powder or candied carrots with minced ginger and a touch of brown sugar. Carrots are frequently used in soups and stews. For a refreshing summer drink, try juicing carrots with ginger, apples, a squeeze of lemon, and a spritz of sparkling water.


 Celery sold in stores is blanched in the field, draining the nutrients and flavor. Our celery has never been deprived of sunlight, preserving its very strong flavor and nutrients. Try: slaw - grate celery, apples, jicama & toss with olive oil, mustard & lemon juice; soup - sauté celery & potato in butter until soft, simmer in stock then add cream and puree; noodles - use a peeler to create thin strips of celery, sauté in olive oil until soft, serve with pasta sauce!

Often called celery root, celeriac is not technically the root of celery, but it sure smells like celery! The skin is typically peeled (although it is edible) and the ivory flesh is reminiscent of a blend of parnsips, celery, and potatoes. Celeriac can be grated and "cooked" in lemon juice and served with a mustard vinagrette. Or, cut celeriac into wedges and fry (like french fries). Celeriac can also be roasted with other root vegetables or mashed in with mashed potatoes.


Chard is one of those dark leafy greens that is usually cooked, but young, tender chard can be eaten raw. Chard can be cooked a long time like collards or sautéed lightly in olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest. Chard is also great in broth-based soups - try chicken broth, shredded chard, ham hock, white beans, and a drizzle of good olive oil on top with crusty bread. Chard is in the same family as beets and spinach.

Cherry tomatoes are delightful in salads and pastas! But they can also be sliced in half, drizzled with olive oil, and topped with salt and cracked black pepper and roasted for a few minutes or hours depending on how you want to eat them. Cherry tomatoes can also be pickled or made into a refreshing relish. Every variety of cherry tomato has a unique flavor - some are sweet as candy and others laced with a refreshing tartness.

Cherry tomatoes

Chinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage is also called Napa cabbage. It can be pickled (a Chinese version of sauerkraut) or used in stir fries with shrimp, meat, or tofu. It can be used as part of the filler in dumplings (shredded cabbage and ground pork) or in soups (try simmering shredded cabbage, soft tofu, shitake mushrooms, and vermicelli noodles in broth). Chinese cabbage is delicious eaten raw as coleslaw or as an addition to lettuce in a salad.


Cilantro is a staple in many cooking traditions, but most famously in Mexican and Central American cooking. It is the base of chimichurri sauce (blend cilantro, parsley, olive oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes in a food processor until it forms a vinaigrette like sauce) that is excellent with anything grilled. Chopped cilantro also adds a freshness to salsas, salads, and chilled soups!

Collard Greens

Southern-style collard greens are slow-cooked for hours with a ham hock. In many East African traditions, collard greens are slow cooked with tomatoes. Try fresh collards sautéed in olive oil with lemon zest and pepper flakes. Collards are eaten all over the world including Brazil, East Africa, Eastern Europe and India and Pakistan. They are very closely related to kale and are similarly very high in vitamins and minerals.

Fresh corn is great on the cob. Corn can be grilled in its husk or wrapped in aluminum foil. If wrapping in foil, try adding a pat of butter, salt, chili seasoning, and garlic to the foil before sealing. Corn kernels can be added to salads, on top of pizzas, or in cornbread for texture and sweetness.

It is thought that cucumbers originated in India over 3000 years ago, so it is not surprising that there are hundreds of ways to eat them! Eat them like an apple or prepare them. Pickle thinly sliced cucumbers in white wine vinegar for a refreshing accompaniment to grilled meats. Shred cucumbers in yogurt with salt and mint to make your own raita (great on grilled meats). Hollowed out cucumber cylinders can be used as "cups" to hold seafood or egg salads.

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that is used in many different cultures. Puree 1 lb roasted eggplants with 1 clove garlic, 2 tablespoons tahini, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and a handful of chopped parsley to make babaganoush, a Mediterranean style dip. Cut eggplant into 1/4" slices and use in place of pasta for lasagna recipes. Eggplant is great grilled, lightly brushed with olive oil, and seasoned with salt, pepper, minced garlic and a touch of vinegar.


The name dill comes from the Norse word dilla, which means "to lull". Dill has been used for its medicinal properties - stomach soother, insomnia reliever, wound healer - throughout history. The fern-like leaves of dill can be chopped and mixed with Greek yogurt, cucumber, minced garlic, salt/pepper, and a touch of olive oil for a tzatziki sauce. Or try baking dill into cheesy biscuits or cornbread. Dill is indispensable if you are making your own pickles!

Fennel can be eaten raw or cooked. Thin slivers of fennel are a great addition to salads. They have a sweet licorice smell and taste. Fennel is absolutely delicious braised in a mixture of white wine, olive oil, butter, salt and pepper. Fennel is excellent paired with fish or chicken. Slowly sauté fennel in butter, olive oil, and garlic until soft; pour mixture over fettuccini and toss with juice and zest of one lemon and a generous amount of grated parmesan.

Garlic scapes are the flowering head of a garlic plant. They are available for only about 3 weeks every year. They are removed when growing garlic so that more of the plant's energy can go to garlic bulbs. Scapes can be used in place of garlic in any dish. They are delicious brushed with olive oil and grilled. Scapes can be made into pesto (puree scapes, olive oil, salt, pine nuts, lemon, parmesan cheese) in a food  processor. They also make beautiful bouquets!

Garlic is the foundation for many dishes. Try these Catalan inspired recipes: Pa'amb tomquet: Halve a clove of garlic and a tomato and rub on one side of grilled bread. Romesco sauce: In a food processor, blend 1/2 cup toasted almonds, 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, & salt & pepper. Add breadcrumbs as needed to firm up consistency. Which country produces 77% of all garlic in the world? Answer: China                           

Husk cherries, also known as ground cherries, are a very old variety of fruit native to North America. Their closest relatives are tomatillos and Chinese lanterns (ornamental flower). Husk cherries are typically eaten raw. Their flavor is unique, but reminiscent of a strawberries and pineapple. Just remove the papery husk and enjoy the delicious fruit!

              Hot peppers             

The "hotness" of peppers is measured on a Scoville Heat Scale - the record for the hottest pepper is the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper (as of 2011). Hot peppers can be added to salsas or add a few slices to stir fry. Try thinly slicing a hot pepper and added  kick in dipping sauce.


Kale is a super nutritious dark leafy green. Kale can be prepared in the same manner as spinach, collards, and chard. Try sautéing with oil, garlic, and onion. For a slightly different preparation, separate the kale leaves from the stems. Lightly mist each leaf with olive oil and dust with your favorite seasoning (e.g., salt + pepper, curry powder, garlic + smoked paprika, cumin + cinnamon) and bake at 350 F until the leaves are just crispy - and voila! Kale chips!

The word kohlrabi is German and means "cabbage turnip", but it does not taste like a turnip. The bulbs of kohlrabi are similar to broccoli stems, but sweeter and crisper. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw in a salad or lightly sautéed in olive oil and garlic. Kohlrabi leaves are edible and taste like cabbage. Kohlrabi is often peeled before eating. Kohlrabi is eaten extensively in the Punjab region of India as well as in southern India - try looking up an Indian kohlrabi recipe!

Contrary to popular belief, all parts of a leek, including the dark green leaves are edible. Leeks can be grilled and served with a medley of grilled vegetables or meat. For a creamy leek and potato soup: cube 1 lb. of potatoes and chop 1 large leek, cover with broth and cook until soft. Puree the mixture until it has a smooth consistency, add more broth if needed. Stir in 1 cup of cream and sprinkle with shredded cheese.                                      


Lettuce does not have to be limited to the world of salads - lettuce leaves make excellent wrappers for a variety of fillings. Try cooking up 1/2 lb. of diced chicken with diced carrots, onions, and bell peppers seasoned with hoisin sauce or chili garlic sauce. Add freshly chopped mint leaves after everything is cooked and wrap the mixture in lettuce leaves. There are hundreds of varieties of lettuce in the world, each with its own unique flavor.


Cold, sweet, juicy wedges of melon are a wonderful summertime snack on their own, but melons can also be added to salads, grilled and served with ice cream, or pureed with other fruits for a refreshing smoothie.

Mesclun Mix
Mesclun mix is a mixture of small, young salad leaves which traditionally included chervil, arugula, leafy lettuces, and endive but is now used to describe any mixture of young tender greens mixed together. Our mesclun mix includes mizuna, mustard greens, tatsoi, arugula, and more! Mesclun mixes are quite delicate and need only a splash of your favorite dressing or can be added to sandwiches.

Mustard Greens
Some find mustard greens more peppery but less bitter than collards or kale. Try a warm mustard green salad with chickpeas: Sautee 1/2 sliced red onion in oil, 1 bunch of shredded mustard greens, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 cup golden raisins, & 1/4 cup broth & cook until greens are wilted. Remove greens; leave any cooking liquid in the pan. Heat 1 can chickpeas in pan, season with salt & pepper, & when heated toss with the greens.

Okra originated in West Africa but is now eaten all over the world. It is in the same family as hibiscus and so has beautiful flowers. Okra is a very heat and drought tolerant plant. Many people are unimpressed by the "goo" that okra produces. Adding vinegar to okra cuts through the "goo". Okra is eaten in dozens of ways around the world: look for recipes from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, South East Asian, West Africa, and the American South.


Onions form the base of many dishes. To showcase onions on their own, try this quick recipe from Rosy: thinly slice 1 red onion and cook in boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain and transfer onions to a bowl. Squeeze juice from 1 lime, season with salt and pepper, and serve as a condiment or salad topper. Stock up on onions in the fall and keep them in a cool, dry, breathable location (like a basket on the kitchen counter far from the stove) for many months.


Parsley is often used just as a garnish, but it is also delicious! To make tabbouleh: rehydrate 1/2 cup (dry) bulgur wheat. Toss the prepared bulgur with 2 cups finely chopped flat leaf parsley, 1/2 cup finely chopped mint, 2 diced tomatoes, 1/2 diced cucumber, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold. Fun facts about parsley: it originated in Italy, Tunisia and Algeria and is in the same family as carrots!

Parsnips are closely related to carrots and parsley. They originated in Eurasia and records exist of their culinary use in the ancient Roman empire. Parsnips are typically eaten chopped and roasted with other root vegetables. They have a sweet, earthy flavor that is best classified as a mixture of carrot, potato, turnip, and freshly cut grass.

Potatoes originated in the Andes Mountains. Nearly 5000 varieties exist worldwide. Cut potatoes into 1/2" cubes, toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 450 F until insides are tender and outsides are crispy. Toss in minced garlic and chopped rosemary for the final 5 minutes of roasting. Potatoes will store in your refrigerator for many months if they haven't been washed. At the end of the season, ask your farmer for a big bag of dirty potatoes!


Pumpkin is not just for Thanksgiving pies! Pumpkin slices can be cooked in broth and pureed to make pumpkin soup. Pumpkin chunks can also be added to curries and stews. Pumpkin is also delicious roasted with other vegetables, drizzled with olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar.


Radishes are often eaten raw in salads, but radishes can also be pickled and cooked. Radish greens are also nutritious and tasty. Recipe idea: cut each radish in half, toss in olive oil, and roast at 450 F for 20 minutes. Thoroughly rinse radish tops, chop roughly, and sauté in butter and garlic until leaves are wilted. Add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end and serve with the roasted radishes. There are literally hundreds of radish recipes on the internet.

There are many varieties of sage, but all are small, perennial shrubs with pungent smelling leaves. The variety of sage used for cooking has small oval-shaped dusty-green leaves and woody stems. Sage is used in small quantities as an herb to flavor roasted poultry, fish, and pork. If you buy more sage than you can use in a single dish, simply hang the rest of the bunch in a cool, dry location and it will dry naturally. Store the dried sage in a glass jar for winter use. 

Scallions are usually used as garnishes or in place of onions but are also absolutely delicious slathered in olive oil and roasted on the grill or in the oven. Roasted scallions served over a bed of salad greens and sprinkled with toasted nuts, strong-flavored cheese and balsamic vinaigrette are delectable. Sprinkle some finely chopped scallions on top of soups or salads, add to potato salad, or use chopped scallions in stir fries or fried rice.

Shell peas are often called English peas. Peas should be removed from the inedible pod. Fresh peas are delicious raw. They can also be heated in a little bit of butter and salt. Or, add peas at the last minute to your favorite risotto or pasta recipe (white sauces work best). Peas can also be used in place of basil to make pea pesto.


Like all of the other peas, freshly picked snow peas eaten raw are a summer treat! Snow peas are also a great addition to stir fries and they can also be sautéed on their own. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high, add 1/2 lb. of snow peas (ends trimmed, strings removed), 1 minced clove of garlic, and 1/4 cup pine nuts. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then toss in 1 tablespoon sesame oil and a handful of chopped mint leaves.

Raw sugar snap peas are sweet as candy, crunchy as an apple, & juicy as a ripe red pepper. The pod is entirely edible - no need to shell them! If you prefer them cooked, try blanching a pound of sugar snap peas (run under cold water to stop the cooking process). Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter, add 1 clove of minced garlic & 1 Tbsp. of lemon zest & 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice, salt & pepper & pour over peas. Traditionally eaten with salmon on the 4th of July in Maine.

Sugar snap peas


Spinach can be sautéed or used in salad, but can also be used in sauces, like this green harissa that goes well with grilled chicken or lamb: In a food processor puree 1 cup chopped cilantro, 1 cup chopped spinach, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 serrano chile (seeds removed), 1/4 tsp. coriander, 1/4 tsp. cumin, and salt to taste. Spinach originated in modern day Iran, was introduced to Asia around 600 AD and Europe around 800 AD, and is now eaten worldwide.

Summer squash

Zucchini, yellow crookneck, and patty pan are all considered summer squash. Summer squash are great on the grill: just brush with oil and season with salt and pepper, and toss with fresh herbs after done cooking. Medium sized summer squash can be cored and stuffed with meat, tomatoes, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, or any of your favorite stuffings and roasted in the oven. Summer squash is native to Central and North America.

Sweet peppers

For a complete meal, try stuffed peppers. Prepare stuffing by sautéing 2 cups of cooked rice with 1 lb. ground meat or tempeh, 2 diced tomatoes, 1 diced pepper, 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, and 1 teaspoon of chipotle sauce (from canned chipotle peppers). Cut the tops off 6 peppers, remove seeds and ribs, and stuff with rice mixture. Place in casserole dish and bake at 350F for 30-45 minutes. Top with shredded cheese if desired.

Sweet potatoes
Who doesn't love sweet potato fries? Try roasted wedges of sweet potatoes and peppers served with an arugula salad. Or grate a mixture of potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, and carrots (3 cups total). Heat oil in saucepan and evenly spread the grated mixture in the pan, season with salt, pepper, and chili powder and cook until potatoes are cooked through, flipping occasionally. Sweet potatoes are very hard to grow in our northern climate!

Tatsoi is in the same family as brussel sprouts, radishes and kale. It is often in mesclun mix in baby form. When mature, it can be lightly cooked like spinach. It is often an accompaniment to lighter proteins (seafood, chicken, tofu). Try heating 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tsp. minced ginger, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1 bunch tatsoi. Add 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. orange juice, and 1 tsp. honey. Cook until just wilted.

  Tomatillos have a papery husk that has to be removed before cooking. Make green salsa by roasting 1 lb. tomatillos and 1 sliced onion (drizzled with olive oil) at 400 F until onions start to brown and tomatillos start to burst. Let cool then puree in a food processor. Mix 1 chopped avocado, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 serrano chile (seeds removed), 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, juice from 1-2 limes, and salt to taste. Tomatillos are distantly related to tomatoes.

Summer tomatoes are best simply prepared. Slice tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and coarse black pepper; eat alone or with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. Fresh tomato slices can be added to homemade pizza, used in fresh salsas, or mixed with balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, basil, and olive oil as a bruschetta topping. Farmers often have boxes of blemished tomatoes available for a low cost - perfect for canning and freezing!

Young white salad turnips are delicious raw. If you prefer to cook them, try this: peel and quarter 1 1/2 lb. turnips and 1 lb. potatoes. Steam turnips and potatoes until tender. Thoroughly rinse turnip greens, discard tough stems, blanch for 2 minutes, drain, and finely chop. Mash turnips and potatoes together, add the greens, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 clove minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste!

Nothing says summer like a big slice of juicy watermelon! Try watermelon salad with arugula, feta, and sunflower seeds! Or grill watermelon with chili-honey glaze. Or puree 4 cups of watermelon, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 Tbsp. lime juice, and 1/4 cup shredded mint leaves, spread on a baking pan and freeze until ice crystals are just beginning to form (1-2 hours). Using a fork, scrape the puree to form icy flakes and serve in cups. Watermelons are hard to grow in Maine.


Winter squash
 Unlike summer squash, winter squash have a hard waxy peel. Common types are butternut, acorn, delicata, and kabocha. Winter squash is delicious roasted with oil, salt, and pepper until it just begins to caramelize. Roasted squash is a great side dish, or it can be made into a warm salad with feta cheese and Israeli couscous, quinoa, bulgur, or wheatberries; or pureed into a soup. Stock up for winter. Stored in a cool, dry place, winter squash will keep for 1-3 months!


 Zucchini is a summer squash. Using a vegetable peeler, you can shave off slices of zucchini and drizzle with olive oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and shaved parmesan for a simple summer salad. Or, use zucchini instead of pasta in lasagna recipes. Zucchini is also delicious grilled and can be used in grilled vegetable salads. Big zucchini is perfect for zucchini bread, zucchini pancakes, and stuffed zucchini.

Find out when all these vegetables are in season!