Think local farmers are taking vacation
in the winter? Think again. If you are lucky enough to live near a year-round
market, you can enjoy an abundant array of fresh produce, even in February.
Here are some items you’ll find in your local market this winter.
You still have to eat your vegetables in the winter and a great variety
of fresh vegetables is available at markets throughout the winter months.
Here’s a tasty sample:
There’s a reason every restaurant you enter in the winter has butternut
squash soup or pumpkin-stuffed ravioli on the menu: squash is abundant
late in the year. All hard-shelled squash, from acorn to pumpkin, are
available throughout the winter. As an added bonus, squash is easy to
cook. With as little seasoning as salt and pepper, most squash can be
simply baked and served.
Root vegetables include all of our favorites: potatoes, carrots, onions,
garlic, leeks, radishes, turnips, and Jerusalem artichokes. According
to Gabrielle Langholtz of Greenmarket in New York, root vegetables
left in the ground after the first frost turn starch into sugar, which
lowers the freezing point and makes the vegetables less bitter. Try
a mix of roasted root vegetables with a pork roast this month.
Brussel sprouts and cabbage are also better after the first frost and
available at markets late in the year. For most, that probably won’t
convince them to eat these vegetables, but some traditional comfort
foods like corned beef and cabbage can be a great one-dish meal on
a cold evening.
Believe it or not, some leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, swiss
chard, mustard greens, watercress, escarole, endive, and parsley can
survive under inches of snow and can be harvested and brought to market
in early spring. The snow actually insulates the ground and keeps the
vegetables from freezing. So no excuses… eat your greens! Try
an indoor BBQ with ribs, corn bread, baked beans, and mustard greens.