Winter squash is a summer-growing annual vegetable, representing several species within the genus Cucurbita, including butternut, acorn, spaghetti, calabaza and delicata. It differs from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. Do you have a favorite winter squash?
Native to Mexico, Central and South America, jicama has long been cultivated by Mesoamerican civilizations. Only the jicama root is edible; the rest of the plant is poisonous. Okay by us – we like to slice the apple-like flesh of the jicama root into matchsticks and toss it with chili powder and lime juice for a snack. How do you jicama?
Red, orange, yellow and green bell peppers actually come from the same plant! Green bell peppers are harvested early before they’ve fully ripened, giving them their bitter edge, while yellow and orange hang on slightly longer, with reds being picked last, making rich in sweetness and nutrients! Do you have a pepper preference?
Spinach made its way into Italian kitchens in the 11th century and was Catherine de Medici’s favorite food. When she left Florence in the 16th century to marry King Henry II of France, she brought both spinach and cooks who knew her favorite ways to eat it. Ever since, dishes that are served on a bed of spinach are called “a la Florentine.” Do you have a fave Florentine dish?
This tasty vegetable goes through a surprisingly complicated process before being served. Follow the trail of hearts of palm from a seedling to delectable side dish in this clip from The Science Channel’s “How It’s Made.” Have you ever tried hearts of palm? What was the dish?