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For Vegan and Vegetarians! “Forgotten” Vegetables 11: Poiree/Spinach Beet

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SYNOPSIS:
Organic agriculture and biodiversity have in recent years brought about a rediscovery of many “forgotten” vegetables that people especially in Europe and France conscientiously tried to forget as they reminded them of the privations suffered during WWII. The same people had then to make do with untraditional vegetables because potatoes, carrots and so on were confiscated by occupying forces or their own armies.
With sustainibility and bioagriculture made more important by the deficiencies of modern mass agriculture, those “forgotten” vegetables have suddenly come to the fore for the pleasure of all, and that of course of vegetarians and vegans!

This particular series of postings will introduce these vegetables one by one. I hope they will become useful for a long time to come to all my vegan and vegetarian friends!
1) Scorsonere/Oyster Plant
2)Potimarron
3) Vitelotte
4) Rutabaga
5) Cardon
6) Panais/Parsnips
7) Patisson
8) Topinambour
9) Crosne
10) Cerfeuil Tubereux

Poiree is regaining a lot of favour these days, as far as in Japan. It is a herb vegetable which can eaten in two different ways, depending if you use the leafy part or the harde central stem part.

Its Latin name is Beta vulgaris, whereas it is called bette à cardes, blette, poirée à cardes in French,Schnittmangold in German, spinach beet or foliage beet in English and remolacha de mesa in Spanish.

This plant is a variant of the maritime beet (Beta vulgaris L. subsp. maritima (L.) Arcang. in Latin) which grows spontaneously along European shores.

Poirée is bi-annual (it takes two to mature) and cultivated for its leaves. These are large and their central part can come into many colours, making them very attractive for salads (after boiling) and other preparations:


Yellow Poiree


Orange Poiree


Pink Poiree


Red Poiree


Green Berac Poiree


Green Swiss Poiree


Lucullus Poiree

The leaves can be prepared eaten like spinach, whereas the stems after being cut and cooked can prepared in gratin, tarts, quiches, raviolis and soups.


Poiree Tart (Courtesy of Tarabiscotta)

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