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The farmers’ market is a weekly ritual, but we’re getting tired of the same bag full of corn or broccoli. So we asked chef Karen Hatfield (Odys + Penelope, Sycamore Kitchen) to tell us exactly which lesser-known yet delectable greens and fruits we’re missing out on. 

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Lemon Cucumber

Looks like a lemon, tastes like a slightly sweet cucumber. 

How to eat it: Just peel off its tough skin and slice thinly to add to your salad—or pickle several overnight in a Mason jar and use them on sandwiches.

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Tatsoi

Think of it as Asian spinach, with a bit more crunch and flavor.

How to eat it: Use it raw in salads or just sauté with garlic and butter.

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Chinese Broccoli

You’ll find this vitamin-rich green, also called Gai lan or Chinese kale, among the piles of greens at Asian growers’ tables. It’s similar to broccolini with a bit of a sharper taste.

How to eat it: Use it in your pork belly stir-fry with ginger and soy. Or keep it simple, with a long slow stovetop sauté in lots of brown butter, salt and maybe a smashed clove of garlic because you’re fancy.

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Cherimoya

Also known as custard fruit, this tastes like a South Seas fruit salad (think bananas, coconut, mangoes) in one fruit.

How to eat it: Choose one that’s soft to the touch, then peel and eat raw. Or add to your smoothie after scooping the flesh from the skin and discarding the seeds. But we have to recommend pureeing it and adding Champagne for a tropical Bellini.

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Mizuna

Introducing Japan’s answer to arugula: peppery but with a bit less of a spicy taste. 

How to eat it: This leafy green is perfect for waking up your mixed-green salads.

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Squash Blossom

Don’t be intimidated by the delicacy of these yellow zucchini flowers—they’re one of the delights of late summer cooking and taste like a milder version of squash.

How to eat it: Just stuff with ricotta, roll in flour and grated Parm and pan-fry for a few minutes on both sides. Or slice them thinly and sprinkle raw on top of your favorite pasta before serving.

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Quince

It smells like pear, apple and vanilla combined, but many people are put off by it since you can’t eat it raw (it’s too hard to peel). But warning: Once you cook this fruit, your neighbors will be stopping by asking, “What’s that wonderful smell?”

How to eat it: Peel, seed and quarter a few, then throw them into a pasta pot filled with water for a long, gentle poach. Then cut them into slices and serve warm over ice cream or chill and add to salads.

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Twenty20

Kumquats

These tiny citrus fruits are the size of a big olive. Everything is edible: Their skin is sweet while their pulp is sour.

How to eat it: Slice into coins, seed and then slowly simmer in sugar, water and orange juice with a bit of vanilla or star anise until tender. Reduce the liquid down to make a compote not quite as thick as a marmalade—it’s great to spoon over ice cream, shake into bourbon cocktails or put on top of cake with whipped cream.

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