Veggie Powerhouses for Home Cooks

What Makes These Vegetables Kitchen Staples

The vegetables in this glossary have earned their place as home cook staples for good reason. Their versatility, nutrients, and bold flavors make them endlessly useful ingredients.

Aubergine – Egg-shaped purple vegetable used in many dishes. Also called eggplant.

Beans – Versatile plants with edible pods and seeds, like green beans and runner beans.

Beetroot – Bright purple root veg with an earthy flavor. The leaves are also edible.

Broccoli – Green tree-like veg with tight florets, great steamed or roasted.

Brussels Sprouts – Compact, mini cabbage-like buds, often roasted.

Cabbage – Round green or red veg with densely layered leaves. Used in slaws and braises.

Capsicum – Bell peppers in green, yellow, red. Roasted, stuffed or sliced raw.

Carrot – Bright orange tapered root, eaten raw, roasted, or in soups and cakes.

Cauliflower – White version of broccoli with densely packed curds. Used in cheese sauces or rice dishes.

Celery – Long green stalks eaten raw with dips or cooked in soups and stews.

Chard – Leafy green similar to spinach as well as crisp, edible stalks.

Courgette – Green summer squash with mild flavor. Also called zucchini.

Cucumber – Long, green and cylindrical. Eaten raw in salads and sandwiches. Often pickled.

Fennel – Licorice-flavored bulb with feathery fronds. Used raw in salads or braised.

Garlic – Pungent, aromatic bulb used widely in savory dishes.

Kale – Frilly, robust leafy green enjoyed raw in salads or cooked in many cuisines.

Leeks – Taller cousin of onions with a mild, onion-garlic flavor. Braised or added to soups and stews.

Lettuce – Various leafy greens with tender leaves and crispy ribs. Found in salads and sandwiches.

Mushrooms – Meaty, earthy fungi like buttons, portobellos and shiitakes. Sauteed or grilled.

Onions – Pungent bulbs adding flavor and aroma to savory dishes. Red, white, and yellow varieties.

Parsnips – Creamy white root veg with a sweet, nutty flavor. Roasted, mashed or glazed.

Peas – Sweet green pods and seeds. Eaten raw, steamed, sauteed, or added to rice dishes.

Potatoes – Starchy, fluffy tubers. Mashe, roasted, fried, or sliced for chips.

Pumpkin – Large, orange winter squash with sweet flesh. Used in soups and pies.

Radish РPeppery red root veg eaten raw in salads or on crudit̩ platters.

Rhubarb – Tart red stalks, sweetened and baked into desserts like pies and crumbles.

Rocket – Also called arugula. Peppery green leafy salad vegetable. Adds a spicy punch.

Shallots – Small, aromatic onion bulbs used for flavoring.

Silverbeet – Leafy green similar to spinach.

Spinach – Dark, nutrient-rich leafy green. Eaten raw or cooked.

Swede – Also called rutabaga. Yellow root veg with sweet, earthy flavor.

Sweetcorn – Sweet, golden cobs of corn eaten as a vegetable. Grilled, steamed or creamed.

Tomatoes – Plump red fruits treated as a savory veggie. Fresh in salads or cooked into sauces.

Turnip – White root veg with sharp flavor. Often mashed or baked into stews and curries.

Watercress – Peppery green leaves grown in water. Used in salads, sandwiches and garnish.

Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and lettuces add texture and freshness to salads, sandwiches, pastas, and more. Their vitamins and minerals boost any dish’s nutrition. Hearty cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts take well to roasting and lend heft to sides and mains.

Versatile alliums like onions, garlic, and shallots build flavor bases with their pungent aromas. Starchy root vegetables including potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes add comforting flavors, colors, and textures to an array of savory dishes and baked goods.

Vibrant peppers and tomatoes provide doses of vitamins, brightness, and acidity. Legumes, green beans, and peas offer protein. Zucchini, cucumbers, and summer squashes make refreshing salads and sides.

These vegetables satisfy cravings for produce year-round. Their flavors mingle wonderfully with various seasonings and ingredients. Home cooks worldwide rely on these veggie classics because of their endless usefulness in nourishing everyday meals.