If you’re trying to find vegetables that start with F, your search is over. We’ve put every one we could find in the below list…
1. Fat Hen
The name might be confusing, but fat hen is a type of green. It’s also frequently called wild spinach, as well as lamb’s quarters and goosefoot. This plant is part of the amaranth family and can be steamed or cooked like spinach or chard. While you can cultivate it as a garden green, you can also find it growing wild all over North America and Europe.
It’s usually considered to be a weed but contains more iron and other beneficial nutrients than spinach or collards. Pick the tender leaves when the plants are still young, and sautee them lightly with olive oil and salt. These leaves toughen up once the plant bolts and goes to seed.
2. Fava Bean
Fava beans may have gotten a bit of a fame boost when they were referenced in the terrifying 1991 movie The Silence of the Lambs, but they’ve been around far longer. They’ve been cultivated as food for almost 10,000 years and were the standard beans eaten throughout the Medieval era.
If you don’t want to grow your own, get yourself some canned marinated fava beans and try mixing them with your favorite grain. They’re wonderful with rice, farro, quinoa, or couscous, especially when seasoned with Middle Eastern herbs and spices.
This member of the carrot family is quite different from its orange and red cousins. After all, it’s shaped like a multi-layered bulb and tastes like licorice, rather than a carrot. The similarity lies in its feather leaf fronds, which are just as edible as the bulbs.
Try shaving or slicing these bulbs into a fresh summery salad with apples, oranges, and toasted nuts. Alternatively, drizzle them with olive oil, garlic, thyme, and a bit of salt, and roast them until they’ve caramelized.
Read Also: What Do Fennel Seeds Taste Like?
Fenugreek is native to the Mediterranean as well as parts of Asia and the Middle East. It has an intense, musky flavor that’s a fabulous addition to curries, soups, and salads. You can use the fresh leaves or dry them into flavorings, and the dried seeds are vital in Indian cuisine. They taste a bit like maple syrup and have a number of medicinal uses in addition to culinary ones.
These seeds are used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes and menstrual cramps, and to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers.
Have you ever had fiddlehead greens before? If not, try to seek them out next spring. They’re the young heads of newly sprouted fiddlehead ferns, which are often grown as decorative plants. In fact, they got their name from the fact that these unfurled heads look like the curled ends of fiddles or violins.
The cooked fiddlehead greens taste quite a bit like asparagus and are usually simply fried in oil or butter and salt. Try them sauteed in a bit of Earth Balance and served as a side dish.
6. Flat Bean
Italian flat beans taste quite a bit like French green beans (aka haricots verts). They’re cooked in the pod and have a tender, very “green” flavor that combines well with other Mediterranean flavors. They’re high in protein, fiber, folate, and potassium, and are a great way to get more greenery into your diet.
You can chop them up and add them to soups and stews, or combine them with other favorite Italian vegetables in a tasty casserole. For example, try this recipe for flat beans with artichokes and tomatoes.
7. Flint Corn
Flint corn is a bit different from the standard corn you’ll find at the supermarket. It’s commonly known as “Indian corn”, and comes in a wide variety of colors. In fact, its beautiful, varied hues make it very popular in autumnal decorations. It’s called flint corn because its kernels dry as hard as flint when mature. You’ve undoubtedly come across it in one of its most common forms: popcorn.
While the kernels are too tough to eat steamed or grilled, you can absolutely transform flint corn into edible dishes. For example, you can grind it into cornmeal and use it to make polenta or arepas. Alternatively, you can soak the kernels in a mixture of water and lye to soften the hard shells so you can transform the kernels into hominy. Then, you can use that to make corn tortillas.
8. Fluted Pumpkin
Nigerian fluted pumpkins look quite different from the round versions you’re probably used to. For one, they’re not round like the ones used for Cinderella’s coach. Instead, they’re elongated and have deeply ridged dark green skins. Additionally, unlike regular pumpkins and squashes, fluted pumpkins have inedible flesh.
Instead, these plants are cultivated for their delicious, nutritious leaves and seeds. The leaves are picked early and used in soups, while the seeds are harvested once the gourds are fully mature. These are then toasted and eaten as snacks, or ground into flour for flatbreads and other baked goods.
9. French Bean
French bean is just another name for the standard, all-purpose green beans. You’re probably already familiar with these long, stringy beans, which are usually served in soups and casseroles. They need to be harvested and eaten early, while they’re tender. Otherwise, you can leave them on their vines to mature into dried soup beans.
To prepare them, trim both ends to remove the stems and tough, stringy tips. Then steam them, sautee them, or even pickle them with dill and garlic for long-term storage.
10. French Sorrel
This herb is a staple in French cuisine, where it’s the star of the show as soon as it makes its appearance in springtime. It’s often mixed with other early spring greens in a salad. Additionally, it’s treasured as a soup potherb in Germany, where it’s used to make sauerampfer: potato-sorrel soup with cream.
Sorrel has a pleasantly sharp, astringent flavor with a strong lemony note. This is due to the plant’s high oxalic acid content. Be careful not to eat too much raw sorrel several days in a row, as that high acid content can cause kidney damage.
Frisée is a type of endive that’s also known as chicory. It’s named for the curly quality of its leaves: think of “frizzy” hair and you’ll be able to make the connection. The chicory family also contains species such as escarole, dandelions, and radicchio. If you’ve tasted these before, you’ll know that they have a pleasantly bitter flavor that pairs well with either salt or sweetness.
These endives aren’t just packed with vitamins A and C—they’re also high in folic acid. This is essential during pregnancy, and can also assist with iron absorption. Try them sauteed with vegan bacon and garlic, or served raw in a salad with apples, walnuts, and raspberry vinaigrette.
12. Field Cucumbers
Most of the cucumbers you’ll find at the grocery store are English cukes. They’re long and thin—usually about one inch in diameter—with smooth skins. Their seeds are soft and fully edible, and they have a mild, watery flavor.
In contrast, field cucumbers look like tubby, warty, misshapen cousins to these beauties. They tend to be stubby and oblong rather than long, with pronounced bumps and spiky bits. Additionally, their seeds may be more developed, and they have a stronger flavor. That said, these are the cukes you want if you’re making pickles. This is because their rinds are stronger, and they stay crisp in brine.
13. Feather Leaf Lettuce
You might not even recognize this as lettuce if you came across it in a field. Most of us are accustomed to small lettuce heads normally found in supermarkets. In contrast, feather leaf lettuce can grow up to four feet tall. It has giant, deeply toothed leaves that are often deep blue-green in hue.
This is the type of lettuce to choose if you’re trying to grow a garden in a hot climate. It’s remarkably heat resistant and won’t bolt into seed in direct sunlight.
14. Flashy Butter Gem Lettuce
While most lettuces are solid shades of green, this variety looks like it’s been spattered with paint. It’s a Romaine-type variety that features pale green leaves that are splashed and dappled with deep crimson red. This is a tender, flavorful lettuce that’s ideal for salads, especially combined with complimentary vegetables like spinach, arugula, and radicchio.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try grilling it! Just baste it with olive oil, salt, and a tiny bit of garlic powder. Grill each head for a couple of minutes on each side, turning regularly. Then serve with crusty bread, cannellini beans, and tomatoes.
15. French Dandelion
Remember how dandelions and endives are part of the chicory family? Well, every part of a dandelion is edible, and French dandelions in particular are incredibly tasty. They have long, narrow leaves and bright yellow blooms, and they taste delicious when cooked.
Although most people consider them to be weeds, dandelions are incredibly nutritious. They’re excellent sources of vitamins C, K, and A, and also have decent amounts of iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Add to that their high antioxidant content and cholesterol-lowering properties, and you can understand why these vegetables have been treasured in the Mediterranean for centuries.
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16. Forellenschluss Lettuce
This lettuce’s name means “speckled like a trout” in German. It’s a Romaine-type lettuce similar to Flashy Butter Gem, but much older. In fact, this type of lettuce originated in Turkey thousands of years ago and was depicted in some Egyptian hieroglyphs. How’s that for an heirloom variety?
Like other Romane types, it’s ideal for eating raw. It’s softer than most other Romaines, with velvety leaves similar in texture to buttercrunch or Boston heads.
17. Filius Blue Pepper
Most people are familiar with red, orange, and yellow hot peppers, but blue ones are quite a rarity. Blue filius peppers hail from Texas and really are a startling blue-purple hue. They measure around 50,000 on the Scoville heat scale, making them equal to Tabasco or cayenne pepper strength.
That said, these peppers shift in both color and heat intensity as they ripen further. If you pick them while they’re blue, they’re blisteringly hot. In contrast, once they’ve shifted color to a purplish red, their searing heat gives way to a milder, sweeter flavor. You can grow these tiny peppers ornamentally in pots or tuck them into sunny garden spots to harvest for pickles, salsas, and chutneys.
18. Fort Portal Jade Beans
If you’ve ever held a handful of jade stones before, you can imagine what these jade beans look like. They come from Uganda and are some of the most beautiful beans you’ll ever see. These pole beans are ideal climbers for small spaces, and the beans themselves are incredibly flavorful when cooked.
They only turn this jade-like hue once dried in the pod, however, so don’t be disappointed with them at first! Let them mature fully, and then add them to your favorite soup and stew recipes.
19. Fiero Radicchio
Radicchio is another hardy green in the chicory family, with a mild, bitter flavor and crunchy, juicy leaves. Fiero radicchio has intense burgundy leaves streaked with white and is almost as delicious raw as it is cooked.
The best way to enjoy radicchio is to grill it, as this caramelizes the leaves and adds sweetness to this bitter vegetable. Brush the whole head with olive oil, and grill it for five to eight minutes, turning regularly. Then drizzle it with a bit more olive oil, some balsamic vinegar, salt, and cracked pepper, and enjoy! This is wonderful paired with a good bean or pasta salad.
Further Reading: What does Radicchio Taste Like?
20. Fortin Rutabaga
If you like both turnips and cabbages, then you’ll love rutabagas too. These hearty root vegetables are hybrids of those two species and combine turnips’ crunchy spiciness with cabbage’s musky sweetness. They thrive in cool environments and store amazingly well in cold cellars over the winter months.
Fortin rutabagas are rare heirlooms originally grown by the Fortin Family in Cap St. Ignace, Quebec. They were cultivated here in North America a few hundred years ago, and their descendants are now sharing seeds for this vegetable.
21. Five-Color Silverbeet
Silverbeet is the Australian name for rainbow chard, and five-color silverbeet is one of the most colorful species you can grow. The leaves taste like spinach, only softer, and are amazing when braised with garlic. They got their name from the beautiful hues that their stems can turn.
You’ll see red, orange, yellow, pink, and white shades as this plant matures, and each color has a slightly different flavor. If you’re fond of bright hues and really want to “eat the rainbow” daily, add this to your next garden project.
22. Friggitello Pepper
This sweet Italian heirloom comes from Tuscany and can be either sweet or hot, depending on when you harvest it. Young peppers are bright yellow-green and taste mild and sweet. In contrast, they develop a mild heat as they mature. You’ll know they’re developing their spiciness when they start to turn red.
These peppers are renowned for being excellent for frying and are wonderful in all kinds of dishes. Try adding them to your next tofu scramble, or toss them with basil, tomatoes, and vegan sausage to serve over gnocchi.
23. Flat Italian Onion
If you like sharp, sweet onions, you’ll love these. They’re quite small and shaped rather like flying saucers with deep red skins. These heirloom onions have been treasured throughout Italy for centuries, and are some of the fastest-growing onions out there. They’re quite strong, however, so it’s best to cook them rather than eating them raw in salads or as garnishes.
These onions were incredibly popular at markets during the 1800s, and have recently made a comeback. If you can’t find them at your local vegetable market, you can buy seeds and try to grow your own.
24. Futsu Squash
If you’re fond of squashes that have deep, nutty flavors, you’ll love this variety. It’s a rare heirloom from Japan, and its flavor tastes surprisingly like roasted chestnuts. The fruits have bumpy, deeply ridged black skins when ripe, but the skins will turn more of a tawny caramel color during long-term storage.
This squash is as delicious in savory soups and stews as it is in baked goods and desserts. Add maple syrup to mashed, roasted flesh to make a pudding, or roast it with garlic, onions, and root vegetables to add to a rich winter stew.
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25. Flat White Boer Pumpkin
In stark contrast to the deep black Futsu squashes mentioned above, we have white Boer pumpkins from South Africa. As their name implies, their skins are intense, snowy white. Their flesh is an intense orange-red hue and is treasured for soups and savory stews. These pumpkins have big, delicious seeds that can be toasted as well.
In addition to being delicious, these pumpkins make excellent decorative pieces. Consider growing them as part of your autumnal or Halloween decor. Alternatively, make them contrast pieces in an otherwise colorful garden. They look amazing contrasted against deep purple eggplants and black tomatoes, for example.
26. French Breakfast Radish
We’re not too sure why these are called “breakfast” radishes, since the French generally don’t eat them alongside their morning croissants. That said, they did indeed originate in France, and are oblong or egg-shaped rather than round. These radishes are sweeter and milder than the standard American “Cherrybelle” radishes and have delicious, tender edible greens.
Most people prefer to eat these radishes raw, either dipped in salt or sliced on toast. That said, these radishes are also lovely when roasted along with other root vegetables.
27. Florentino Tomato
You’re probably used to seeing round tomatoes at the supermarket or growing in your garden. In contrast, Florentine tomatoes are deeply ridged and almost frilly, like fluted pumpkins. They’re intensely flavorful and are delicious raw as they are transformed into sauces.
Although you may find these at specialty grocery stores, they’re amazingly easy to grow.
Related Article: Easy to Grow Fruits for Beginners to Grow at Home
28. Fish Pepper
Hovering somewhere between jalapeno and serrano peppers on the Scoville scale are fish peppers. These little beauties originated in the Caribbean, and started to make their way through various trade ports in the mid 1800s. Interestingly, these peppers—which grow on low bushes that have green and white leaves—were only grown by black farmers in the mid-Atlantic. They used the juvenile peppers (while they were still cream-colored) to season sauces for fish and other seafood.
Fish peppers change hue from cream through to striped orange-green, and finally to dark red when ripe. All the fish peppers grown today can be traced back to a black WWI-era painter named Horace Pippin. He traded pepper seeds with a local beekeeper named H. Ralph Weaver, whose grandson William shared them with the public in 1995.
29. Frilled-Leaf Mustard
Most mustard greens are wide and flat, and look like a cross between collards and lettuce. In contrast, frilled-leaf mustard really lives up to its name. The leaves look like a cross between kale, and your great-grandmother’s favorite frilly blouse. They’re tender and velvety to the touch, and their flavor is both spicy and sweet.
Pick these very early to use raw in salads, or braise them with milder leafy greens for delicious side dishes. Try combining spinach, kale, collards, chard, and mustard greens in this vegan creamed greens recipe.
30. Feher Ozon Pepper
If you like gentle pepper flavorings, check out Feher Ozon peppers, They’re related to paprika peppers, and originated in Hungary last century. They have thicker flesh than paprika peppers, making them ideal for creating large quantities of cooking spice.
The bushes are compact and generally grow more peppers than leaves. This makes them ideal for container growing, especially on balconies or other small spaces. If you’re going to harvest these to make your own spice powder, be sure to dry them thoroughly before grinding them.
31. French Purslane
This plant is also known as “golden purslane”, and is sadly overlooked as a vegetable these days. It was treasured throughout Europe throughout the Medieval era, and is still enjoyed in Mexico, South America, and the Middle East. Purslane has been naturalized in the USA and Canada, where most people tear it out of their gardens. It’s considered an unwanted, invasive weed here, instead of the nutritional wonder that it actually is.
Purslane is a type of perennial succulent, and has more vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acids than any other plants out there. In addition to being nutrient dense, it’s also absolutely delicious. It has a delightful crunch, and slightly lemony flavor with just a hint of salt. Try chopping it into tabbouleh or adding it to other favorite raw dishes, and you’re sure to fall in love with it.
Hey, I’m Joey. I’ve been cooking since I was a little kid and love everything about it. You can find my writing about food, kitchen appliances (such as blenders) and much more. Thanks for stopping by!