Megan Saynisch

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.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Lavender

Blooming lavender fills summer air with a voluptuous, calming fragrance, an aroma often found in perfumes, lotions and soaps - but this herb is more than an olfactory delight. Lavender can make a splash at the kitchen table in beverages, jams and even as seasoning on meats. Take a deep breath and dive into cooking with lavender.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Lamb's Quarters

Virtually impossible to find in your local grocery store, lamb's quarters are a summer treat you can actually forage for yourself almost anywhere else. Once you know what to look for (there are several non-edible lamb's quarters look-alikes), you'll probably even find this hearty green weed springing up right in your backyard!

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Purslane

Tart, succulent purslane can be used like any green veggie. While many curse this juicy green as a weed, adding purslane to your kitchen arsenal brings a slightly tart and lemony flavor to salads, sauces, stews and more - perfect for the start of summer.

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: 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!

Book Review: Cutting Out The Meat Racket

The Meat Racket tells the story of our modern industrial meat system. Tyson Chicken's tale is shocking, engaging and a great read about how your supermarket meat aisle came to look the way it does. And how can your weekly grocery shopping make a difference?

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: Taro

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!

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Bananas

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!

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Horseradish

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.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Salsify

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.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Scallops

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.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Lentils

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.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Chestnuts

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.

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