Fresh fennel, its seeds and fronds impart subtle anise-like flavor to many dishes, from cakes to side dishes to Sambuca. This cool-weather crop even makes it through to spring. While famed in Italian cuisine, the seeds show up in Indian and Chinese cooking, too, making this a worldwide delicacy.
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.
Between Hurricane Sandy and the presidential election countdown, it's fair to say we are a nation distracted, but we are sure a fair number of you have still got the Great Pumpkin on the brain, Charlie Brown. It only seems fitting -- especially with tumbling temperatures and rapidly falling leaves -- that winter squash is this week's Real Food spotlight.
Sunchokes, the vegetable formerly known as "Jerusalem artichokes," are the tuberous roots of a native North American plant in the sunflower family -- neither from Jerusalem nor related to artichokes -- originally cultivated by Native Americans. And they are delicious.
No doubt many of you have twiggy herbs on those grocery lists for Thanksgiving or will be busy clipping from your (or a neighbor's) backyard stash. Autumn and winter cookery would be a lot less interesting in the absence of these assertively flavored twigs, so get 'em while they're hot!
Just in time for Thanksgiving, sweet potatoes reach their seasonal peak -- how fitting! And while we have plenty of delicious recipes and tasty trivia to offer, we know why some of you are really here: to find out about where the marshmallows fit in. (Or do they?)
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