It's tough to eat locally without eating seasonally! From garlic scapes to winter squash, this series highlights seasonal foods and how to prepare them.
Originally from China, the peach dates all the way back to 5th Century BC, making it one of the oldest Real Foods we've covered. Its short season at the height of summer also makes it one of the very most seasonal. Here, the skinny on the fragrant stone fruit, from its rich history to its environmental impact to the tastiest ways to enjoy it.
July is National Blueberry Month, and for good reason - they are delicious in dishes ranging from savory to sweet and they are super good for you! Find out where they were first cultivated, the difference between high- and low-bush blueberries and as always, how best to enjoy this week's Real Food.
In which Kim O'Donnel declares it patriotic to eat local, and prescribes menus for readers in different parts of the country, depending on what's in season right this minute. Happy Birthday, America!
This week's Real Food is recognized as the national fruit of both India and Pakistan. For most of the US, the mango is a long-distance fruit, but it's high mango season, so we couldn't help but sing its praises.
Mustard greens suffer from an inferiority complex - they haven't enjoyed a culinary renaissance like kale; they don't have the romantic Italian provenance of broccoli raab, nor the Southern panache of collard greens. But their peppery bite is perfect in summer salads, awesome when tossed in with legumes like lentils and delicious when sautéed like spinach.
Long before it became a culinary star, this week's real food was used foremost as medicine and considered a panacea for sundry ailments, from impotence to smallpox, parasites to poor digestion. Here, the condensed history of the so-called stinking rose, and a wealth of cooking tips. Garlic lovers, this one's for you.
This Real Food's English name comes from the French dent de lion ("lion's tooth"), likely owing to its tooth-like serrated leaves. Dandelion greens are at their best in the spring to very early summer, before the flowers begin to bloom, while the yellow flowers can be harvested throughout the summer and into early fall.
Heirloom varieties of this week's real food trend toward the exotic and include Rat's Tail, Plum Purple, Easter Egg, White Hailstone, Chinese Red Meat, Helios and China Rose. Spicy and crunchy, radishes are great pickled but perhaps best served with a dab of butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.
This week's Real Food goes way back - as far as 6,000 BC - and is thought to be among the first group of domesticated plants. Love it or hate it, cilantro's long history means that its unique flavor profile has made its way into dishes around the world.
Favas are a fleeting spring vegetable - like ramps and sorrel and morels -that show up at the market and quickly disappear. Enjoyed in cuisines worldwide, favas are much lauded subjects of folklore and even show up in one of the most notorious lines in American cinema. Mull over more fascinating fava facts and pro tips in this week's Real Food Right Now!
This week's Real Food Right Now is among the earliest spring crops; so remarkably versatile, the various varieties of our friend the pea, including garden peas, sugar snap peas, snow peas and dried peas, each work their own little bit of magic in the kitchen. And to top it off, they combine the nutritional goodness of veggies and legumes, packing a vitamin wallop that's just what the doctor ordered.
The nutty and chewy and garlicky artichoke inspires loving feeling by many avid admirers, whether in the frost-kissed or baby variety, and this week's Real Food warrants further inspection if you've been nervous about taking on necessary prep work. Fear not: your efforts will be rewarded by this tasty antioxidant-rich veggie!
This week's Real Food is incredibly high in Vitamin A, takes well to vertical farming and one cup of it contains just 20 calories. Also known as pak choi or joy choy, bok choy is not just the delectably crunchy main ingredient in kimchi -- it's a nutrious early spring green that goes from refrigerator to stir-fry in ten minutes flat!
Few vegetables are as beautiful as fiddleheads, the shoots of various species of fern. The type of fiddlehead most commonly seen here on the East Coast are bright green, with tightly coiled heads delicately curled like the scroll of a violin. With a flavor slightly reminiscent of asparagus, but somehow also nutty and pleasantly bitter, fiddleheads are a delicious reminder that the doldrums of winter are finally over.
Thanks in large part to a certain scrappy cartoon sailor, we are well familiar with the leafy green known as spinach and its magical nutritional powers. But chard, its cousin in the Goosefoot (or Chenopodiaceae) family? Not so much.
From Adam and Eve's use of their leaves to cover up to the Newtons of your childhood, figs have a long cultural history. The sticky harbinger of late summer pairs well with a slice of prosciutto and a glass of wine â€" a grown up alternative to the cookies of youth.