real food right now
Real Food Right Now and How to Cook it (#realfoodrightnow) is our weekly series on the ABCs and 123s of seasonal food.
Taro is an important dietary staple used in both savory and sweet dishes across much of the tropical and sub-tropical world. If you're lucky enough to go to Hawaii (and no better time than the present!) don't be scared to try taro along with those fruity beach cocktails!
The well-stocked pantry of the modern age would do well to include quinoa, seed extraordinaire. A complete protein all its own packed with nutritional goodness, quinoa shows off its multi-talents from breakfast to dinner, a highly versatile ingredient on the plates of meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.
Famously perfect for peeling and eating raw, the scrumptious banana has more up its sleeve than first meets the eye. From desserts and liquors to vinegar and ketchup, grab one of these nutritious berries (yes, berries!) and go bananas!
They may or may not have aphrodisiac qualities, but nothing starts off a fancy - or romantic - meal like oysters. Just in time for Valentine's Day, all you need to know about these briny bivalves.
There's no denying it - flu season is upon us. If you're pulling out all the stops to stay on your feet this winter, you might want to throw in a little horseradish. Nothing quite beats the nasal-passage clearing, palate-zinging flavor of this knobby brown root.
Early Americans nicknamed salsify "oyster plant" as an homage to their favorite briny bivalves (though you may not notice any oyster flavor). Don't let salsify's uninviting appearance turn you off. If you're lucky enough to get your hands on this delicious - but sometimes elusive - veggie, there are a surprising number of lovely recipes to try.
Scallops, generally divided into "bay" and "sea" types, are prized for food across much of the world, and their shells have been used for everything from currency to jewelry. Here's your guide to the beloved bivalve, from enviro impact to searing tips.
Where would we be without lemons? They even teach us lessons: When life gives us lemons, as the saying goes, we make lemonade. They've become so ubiquitous that it's hard to believe that they are a relatively recent addition to our kitchens.
Will this week's Real Food bring you good luck in the new year? Italians, Brazilians and Germans think so! This much we know for sure: lentils are totally ancient and ridiculously good for you.
There's more to this week's Real Food than Nat King Cole. Did you know that they date back tens of thousands of years, or that the American chestnut was decimated by blight in the early 1900s? Also, learn the important DIY roasting step that'll keep them from exploding in your oven.
Turnips remind us of the kid who got picked last in gym class. Compared to its fellow Brassica cousins, it lacks the royal pedigree of cauliflower and the modern cachet of kale. But as everything old is new again, is it poised to become a greenmarket favorite? If kale can, so can the turnip.
Whether you're an enthusiastic beginner or homemade candy pro, beware: we're betting once your loved ones or colleagues get a taste of these gorgeous, delectable treats - awesome gifts, all - you may be fielding requests for years to come. Happy Holidays!
Shallots are delicious roasted, sautéed, fried and braised, but where they really shine is as an integral component of sauces, vinaigrettes and other dishes (even desserts!), that can benefit from their allium punch. Although they can be pricy, shallots add a little je ne sais quoi to so many dishes.
What food heralds the holidays more than the cranberry, in all its rubine glory? But you should eat this all-American treat year round! Cranberries are exceptionally nutritious, and you can whip up a sauce in not much more time than it takes to open a can.
With over 4,000 varieties, the potato is a staple in cuisines around the world. It was also among the first vegetables to be intensively monocropped and served as a model for other crops. The common tuber is more exotic than you think!
Broccoli is a virtuous superfood, packed with disease-fighting antioxidants; on the other hand, it's the culinary equivalent of icky, especially when boiled to death. Given its nutritional prowess, broccoli deserves better than a pity party. If its cousin kale can get a sexy makeover, why not the tiny trees of the produce aisle? Let the reinvention begin!