Megan Saynisch is cook, gardener, culinary anthropologist and writer living in Brooklyn with her husband and young son. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, she is the creator of the blog Brooklynfarmhouse.com.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Carrots are equally at home in sweet and savory dishes; they can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, fried and stir-fried, made into puddings, cakes and sweet treats and grated, puréed and grantinéed. So of course they are ubiquitous in so many cuisines: what's better than a sweet, crunchy and colorful food?
Nothing says autumn like pumpkins, but if your experience is limited to Jack-O-Lanterns and lattes, you're missing out on a whole world of squashy goodness. Read all about it!
Although its nutty, delicious seeds can be found year-round in health food and some larger grocery stores, amaranth is only in season in the summer through mid-fall. The Today Show has called amaranth greens the next kale, and there are numerous recipes pairing the striking plant's seeds with more common ingredients.
In the US, quince trees were once common in colonial home gardens and on farms. These days, you may have to hunt around for quince - they are not a common fruit, after all - but certainly the hunt is worth it simply for their fragrance. Oh, and they taste pretty good too!
This week's Real Food is also known as "fever grass," and in addition to its assertive, lemony flavor, it is used to synthesize Vitamin A and is a world-class insect repellant! Lemongrass, demystified.
Originally used medicinally to treat symptoms ranging from insomnia to venereal disease, sage has since made its way - over hundreds of years - into a range of savory dishes. And scientific studies support the old-timey idea that sage is linked to wisdom (or at least, memory and cognitive function).