tasty veggie

Growing a Unique and Tasty Veggie that Chefs Love

Dan Specialty Crops, This Land of Ours, Vegetables

tasty veggie
Common Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum), entire plant.
Photographed in the wild. By Yummifruitbat – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5

How to grow a unique and tasty veggie that chefs love. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

Common ice plant is one of those veggies that chefs love because it makes a unique addition to the restaurant menu. If you want something special that isn’t fussy in the garden, try growing it yourself! It’s also known salty ice plant and crystalline iceplant.

The ‘salt ice plant’ gets its name from specialized, translucent cells that form on the outside of the plant. They are the little hairs called trichomes that form on most plants, but they look like they are filled with water on the ice plant.

The leaves and stems can be eaten raw and added to salads for a salty crunch. Use the leaves as you would spinach. Or, you could fry them with a little butter and salt as a tasty side dish.


Consider growing in large pots. This way, you can control the plant’s spread, and you’re not adding any salt to your garden soil. Crystalline ice plant grows well in containers, and since it takes over the area where it’s planted, along with adding salinity to the soil, pots make sense. The optimal temperature for salty ice plant is 68°F to 86°F. It requires full sun and can survive in temperatures as low as 50°F, but cannot handle frost.

Listen to Cathy Isom’s This Land of Ours program here.

Growing a Unique and Tasty Veggie that Chefs Love