Another Christmas present that has been added to my reading pile is Growing Unusual Vegetables by Simon Hickmott.
If you like browsing through seed catalogues, this book is an agreeable read, that acts like a more comprehensive version of the weird end of the vegetable spectrum as covered in Matthew Biggs' Book of Vegetables. The only thing Hickmott's book lacks is a section on how to prepare each vegetable for the pot - there's a long section on what both types of water chestnut look like, but no hints on whether they need peeling or other treatment before boiling.
Top of my weird veg list is seakale - if anyone knows where I can lay my hands on a thong (root cutting) or two I'd be grateful (I'll buy them off you if you name a reasonable price).
Skirret's another curious root vegetable I'd like to try, although I do remember seeing it being harvested on the 80s TV series The Victorian Kitchen Garden, which I watched on DVD recently, and the roots looked a nightmare to prepare ifor the pot.
I sometimes struggle with knobbly jerusalem artichokes, and the girth of skirret roots is considerably less: for some of these unusual crops I wonder if there is a tendency to grow them just for the "aaah" factor, rather than for their intrinsic worth: in other words, you can impress your plot neighbours and dinner guests by serving chayote squash skew and skirret rather than pumpkin skew and carrots.