OnionThere are two main classifications of this underground bulb: green onions (also called scallions) and dry onions, which are mature versions of the former. Onions come in a wide range of colors, shapes and flavors. Boiling onions are small versions (up to 2" in diameter) of yellow, white or red onions. When cooked, onions will become translucent.

plural: onions


Season: available year-round

How to prepare: bake, boil, braise, fry, grill, raw, roast, saute, steam

Matches well with: apples, bacon, butter, cheese, cinnamon, cloves, cream, mushrooms, nutmeg, paprika, Parmesan cheese, parsley, pepper, raisins, sherry, thyme, tomatoes, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, beef, rice, taco mix

Substitutions: 1 tbsp dried minced onion = 1 med chopped onion;1 tsp onion powder = 1 med chopped onion

tomato paste


Season: available year-round

How to prepare: When carmelized adds depth and rich tomato flavor to recipes.


LemonA very sour citrus fruit similar to limes with the same refreshing smell and tart flavor, but generally larger. The whole fruit can be used (juice, skin, and less often the pulp). Lemon trees can produce 1,000 - 2,000 fruits per year. The main types of lemons produced in the United States are the Eureka, Lisbon, Genoa, Sicily, Belair, and the Villafranca. Meyer lemons, a cross between a lemon and either a mandarin or an orange, have smooth yellow-orange skins and are sweeter than Eurekas. Zest is the perfumy outermost skin layer which is removed with the aid of a zester, paring knife or vegetable peeler. Only the yellow portion of the skin (not the white pith) is considered the zest. The aromatic oils in the zest are what add so much flavor to food. Lemon juice is also sprinkled on cut fruit, prevent oxidation, which darkens fruit, making it less appetizing.

plural: lemons


Season: available year-round

How to select: Lemons are bright yellow and oval in shape with a pronounced bulge at the blossom end. They can range in size from a large egg to a small grapefruit. Look for smooth, brightly colored skin (green signals underripeness), and lemons that are heavy for their size.

How to store: Can keep for 2-3 weeks in plastic in the refrigerator. Once the juice is squeezed there is a quick loss of vitamin C.

Matches well with: almonds, cardamom, chicken, chocolate, currants, desserts, fish, honey, lime, oysters, poppy seeds, raspberries, shellfish, strawberries, veal

Substitutions: 2-3 tbsp juice + 2 tsp grated rind = 1 lemon; 1/2 tsp vinegar = 1/2 tsp lemon juice; 1 tsp lemon zest = 1/2 tsp dried lemon peel = 1 tsp lemon marmalade = 1 tsp lime zest = 1 tsp orange zest = 1/2 tsp lemon extract


lambTechnically this tender meat comes from a sheep less than 1 year old. Baby lamb is 6-8 weeks and Spring lamb is 3-5 months, but both are milk fed. Yearling lamb is between 1-2 years, while anything over 2 years is mutton, which has a much stonger flavor and texture.

plural: lamb


Season: available year-round

How to select: Can be purchased ground or in steaks, chops or roasts. Look for the lightest color to find the youngest, most tender meat. (Older meat is darker.)

How to store: Will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator (roasts as long as 5 days) or frozen for 3 months.

How to prepare: bake, braise, broil, grill, roast

Matches well with: almonds, anchovies, aniseed, apples, apricots, bacon, basil, bay leaves, beans, blueberries, bread crumbs, capers, cardamom, cayenne, cheese, cherries, chiles, chives, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, couscous, cream, cumin, currants, curry, dill, eggplant, endive, fennel, garlic, grapefruit, hazelnuts, honey, lemon, Madeira, mint, mushrooms, mustard, olive oil, olives, onions, oranges, oregano, parsley, pecans, pepper, pineapple, pine nuts, plums, pomegranates, prunes, red peppers, red wine, rhubarb, rice, rosemary, rum, sage, star anise, tamarind, tarragon, thyme, tomatoes, vinegar, walnuts, yogurt, zucchini