spring

From asparagus to ramps to rhubarb, our Real Food Right Now series celebrates the best fresh spring foods just as Mother Nature delivers them!

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Snow Peas and Sugar Snaps

Snow peas and sugar snaps - is there a better snack to (healthily) satisfy what seems like a basic human need for crunchy foods? Their sweet, green pea-taste and super crisp texture are mighty fine on their own. Of course, they also taste great when tossed into a stir-fry, added to a salad or pickled in brine!

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Tarragon

Fresh tarragon is a delightful sign of spring slowly melting into summer. The herb has enlivened French cuisine for centuries, adding a sweet dimension to countless dishes. If you love licorice (and even if you don't), you are likely to enjoy a little taste of tarragon in your cooking.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Chives

If ramps can become an overnight produce sensation, why not chives? Chives are the next best mild onion-y thing -- and super easy to grow on your own. On top of that, you can enjoy chives well into the summer, when ramps will be a distant memory.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Nettles

Mother Nature doesn't wait for us to get organized, and the nettle may be in the dappled limelight of a forest near you right now, but if you dally, poof (!) she'll be long gone. With the nettle, you're not just cooking in the season. You're cooking in the moment.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Mint

Good chefs know that mint freshens up so much more than chewing gum, from salads and lamb to ice cream and pies; good gardeners know better than to let its wandering runners take over!

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Emmer (Farro)

This week's real food is one of the world's most ancient grains. Nearly lost as industry flooded markets with grains that were easier to process, farro -- or emmer -- is making a comeback. A chewy, nutty comeback.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: A Spring Celebration!

Our Real Food Right Now series has hatched out posts on many spring foods, from the history of ramps to the egg's endless uses. Now it's officially time to delve back into these in-season delights. Explore spring ingredients and find out why going green in spring is so important!

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Eggs

Whether the chicken or the egg came first, eggs probably win the "most versatile ingredient" competition hands down. Found in everything from sauces and custards to their own headlining items, like omelets and egg nog, eggs offer up "egg-cellent" dining entertainment from dawn to dusk.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Mushrooms

Although the joys of cooking and snacking on the mighty mushroom are ancient, we still have much to discover when it comes to these tasty fungi. From hunting mushrooms in the forest to serving them up at the table, mushrooms offer an endless adventure!

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Millet

Millet -- it's not just for birds! How did this ancient crop become synonymous with birdseed in the United States? And how did a plant once revered by the Chinese fall into obscurity? Thanks to millet's resistance to drought in an era of shifting climate, it's a grain to be rediscovered.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Garlic

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.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Dandelions

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.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Radishes

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.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Cilantro

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.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Fava Beans

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!

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