Essen­tial to any good cook’s essen­tial ingre­di­ent list is the globe onion. A well stocked pantry will have on hand at the very least, one or two vari­eties.

The two main types of globe onions are pun­gent and mild. Both are clas­si­fied into either long-​day or short day bulbs, the length of day­light time required for the actual bulb to form.

Mild vari­ety onions are typ­i­cally large and juicy with thick rings and thin, papery skins that peel eas­ily. They can be cooked, but are the likely can­di­dates to be used raw on sand­wiches, in sal­ads and the like. These are the ones that make great onion rings.

Unfor­tu­nately, mild onions are very poor “keep­ers”. Even in ideal stor­age con­di­tions, they will only main­tain their eat­ing qual­ity for a cou­ple months. Ide­ally, a wind­fall of mild onions can be pre­served in pick­les, sal­sas and chutneys.

Read more: The “Cure“ →

Just when that reser­voir of sup­per ideas runs dry, it’s time to cir­cle back to the cue line on past great per­for­mances.

Quiche is one of those for­got­ten dishes that deserve a chance to rejoin the menu lineup.

Spring ingre­di­ents seem to lean in to the con­cept of quiche done right. A lus­cious pie filled with savory, cooked to per­fect, ingre­di­ents.

Aspara­gus, peas, spinach, mush­rooms, alli­ums, scal­lions and fresh herbs make for a bright start to a sen­sa­tional din­ner. Let’s face it, brunch or lunch are fair ter­ri­tory for a good tast­ing quiche, too.

Any excuse for home­made pie crust gets star sta­tus. The shell should be par-​baked first to get a solid, firm tex­ture going prior to fill­ing with dairy and sup­port­ing cast members.

Read more: Back to “Q“ →

Once a har­bin­ger of spring, aspara­gus is now avail­able nearly year round with imported prod­uct from Peru and Mex­ico.

Even so, when fields in Cal­i­for­nia begin to sprout up ten­der tips, by early April, it’s indica­tive of a sea­sonal shift in local eat­ing habits.

An ele­gant veg­etable with long, ten­der shoots that are gen­er­ally cat­e­go­rized as white, pur­ple and green vari­eties, all belong­ing to a plant in the lily fam­ily.

The shoots of the green and white vari­eties are usu­ally hand-​harvested when the stalks reach a height of around eight inches and are one quar­ter to half inch thick. The com­pact, tightly packed leaves (resem­bling scales) at the top of the stalk are prized for their soft, to crunchy tex­ture and mild, provoca­tive fla­vor.

Green aspara­gus is tra­di­tion­ally the most com­mon vari­ety grown in the United States. Pur­ple or white aspara­gus is usu­ally avail­able on a lim­ited basis in spe­cialty and farm­ers markets.

Read more: Aspara­gus Tips →

It won’t come as a sur­prise that color has a pro­found effect on mood. With Spring in gear, plan to lift more than a mood by sur­round­ing work and home spaces with bright flow­ers, flow­er­ing plants and pot­ted herbs.

Plac­ing pots of color in work envi­ron­ments and around the house can seri­ously boost pro­duc­tiv­ity and con­tribute to our men­tal clar­ity through­out the day.

While there are many high-​tech ways to improve air qual­ity, one refresh­ingly easy method is to bring liv­ing plants into our liv­ing spaces. Bet­ter indoor air qual­ity helps to keep the immune sys­tem strong. Breath­ing fresher air is invig­o­rat­ing and bright­ens up the day.

Read more: Mood Swings →

Brus­sels sprouts and cau­li­flower have enjoyed the recent lime­light with chefs and home cooks.

The hum­ble car­rot is wor­thy of some kitchen love and atten­tion.

Car­rots are at their sweet­est in spring, when their bright col­ors and del­i­cate fla­vors shine.

They are ten­der enough to enjoy raw in sal­ads and yet hearty enough for roast­ing, pick­ling, mash­ing and purees. Soups and stews are made bet­ter when car­rots take the stage.

Juic­ing car­rots, alone or with other fruits and veg­eta­bles, is a game chang­ing spring rit­ual for those look­ing for a sea­sonal cleanse or detox. Their inher­ent, earthy sweet­ness bal­ances other flavors.

Read more: Team Carrot →

Dragon fruit is a beau­ti­ful, exotic fruit grown in South­east Asia, Mex­ico, Cen­tral and South Amer­ica, and Israel.

While not com­mon­place, they seem to be show­ing up a lot lately in gro­cery stores across the nation.

This trop­i­cal cac­tus fruit is del­i­cately sweet with a mildly acidic fla­vor, rem­i­nis­cent of water­melon, cac­tus pear, and kiwi.
The fruit comes in three col­ors; two have a pink outer skin, but with two dif­fer­ent col­ored flesh (one white and the other has a red inte­rior. The third one has an exte­rior yel­low skin with white flesh.

All three types have tiny, edi­ble black seeds (very sim­i­lar to those found inside Kiwi). The seeds should be chewed in order to be fully digested.

Less well known as other pow­er­house fruits, dragon fruit qual­i­fies as a Super­food. Some­times known as pitaya, this trop­i­cal delight is giv­ing acai a run for its money. Com­pa­nies like Pitaya Plus sell juices, smoothie packs, and even pitaya bowls.

Read more: Meet the Dragon →