In another era, this plate of Spanish mackerel topped with wild tamarack, basswood leaves, garlic mustard, fiddlehead ferns, and knotweed might seem cheap. Not anymore. Courtesy of Leif Hedendal hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Leif Hedendal

Leah Lizarondo. with her hands covered in plastic bags, gathers stinging nettles. Larkin Page-Jacobs for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Larkin Page-Jacobs for NPR

Linh Nguyen teaches the traditional Vietnamese recipes she learned from her mother and aunts to students at a Culture Kitchen class. Deena Prichep for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Deena Prichep for NPR

Students of the the Dawes School Edible Garden Project, a program of Slow Food Chicago. Dawes School Edible Garden Project via Slow Foods USA hide caption

itoggle caption Dawes School Edible Garden Project via Slow Foods USA

Lemongrass stalks, when finely chopped, add a unique citrusy note to Thai cuisine. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com