Goodbye, peas and carrots—try growing these unusual, and lesser-known, vegetables
Origin: India and Bangladesh
Definition: Actually not a spinach, Malabar spinach is a perennial vine that thrives in high temps.
Synonyms: Creeping spinach, climbing spinach, or red-leaf spinach
Uses: Raw, the thick leaves have hints of citrus and pepper. Cooked, the leaves taste a lot like spinach but hold up better braised or in soups.
Grow it: Frost won’t kill it, but cool temps will slow it down. It prefers heat, especially temps around 90°. Gorgeous enough for ornamental value, Malabar benefits from a trellis for the tendrils to climb. It can be invasive though, so clean it up occasionally. Buy seeds from Kitazawa Seed Company.