Summer gets LOTS of produce attention, but some of my favorites shine all winter!
Kale, brussels sprouts, and squash get attention throughout the fall, but there are lots of other produce varieties out there that deserve some love! Mixing things up is part of a healthy and balanced diet. Not only does it keep your meals interesting and exciting, but it also makes sure you’re covering different nutrients, such as phytochemicals. So, today I bring you some ideas and recipes to keep you inspired with new flavors and ingredients you might not have thought to try.
Turnips are related to broccoli and radishes and have a mild taste – making them a good addition to a variety of dishes. They mellow out when cooked, so try them roasted with olive oil + salt, or as a hearty and cheesy bake (like this one!) for a cold winter night. The turnip greens are edible as well! (You know one of my favorite country songs by Billy Currington sings “Thank God for good directions…and turnip greens!”
Endives are a light and versatile veggie, perfect for scooping appetizers! Generally mild and slightly bitter, they pair well with slightly sweeter things like fruits and citrus. Try a simple orange endive salad, a sweet and savory maple bacon endive appetizer, or a simple spread dollop. (This one below is with chickpeas and olives!)
A sweeter vegetable with a higher sugar content means that parsnips pair well with other root vegetables and(unlike carrots!) they don’t need to be peeled. Try them baked as fries, roasted with a salad, or sliced thinly as chips. Or, puree and combine them with mashed potatoes for a classic flavor, or pear for a sweet new twist.
This root veggie is in the same family as turnips, though rutabaga tends to be bigger, sweeter and more mellow. They may not be the prettiest veggie, but they have a rich, sweet and savory flavor and are full of vitamins – one cup of rutabaga contains 50 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. Treat them like potatoes: boil and mash with a little butter or roast them as fries! You can even spiralize them for a pasta dish or serve them mashed with nutmeg and chives for a hearty side.
Cabbage, Cooked or Crunchy
Cabbage is a versatile addition to meals, particularly for stir fries, salads, and slaws. Because it has a mild taste, it can work well with a variety of flavors. Try shredding it or thinly slicing it for a more manageable crunch if you’re using it raw in a salad. (This Thai one is a good example!) When cooked, it works well in a soup, or stuffed and rolled with meat and cheese.
Sweet and Savory Fennel
Fennel has a strong flavor, but a nice crunch and sweetness to it that complements savory dishes well. The bulb, stalk and leaves are all edible so you can cook with it and then garnish your dish – no waste! Try it roasted with other root vegetables like carrots, or mixed into a savory dish like this fennel and red pepper fish.
Main Course Clementines
Clementine are not just for snacking! Try them in a savory dish (like the sardine salad below!) or as an aromatic in a sweet and savory dish (think a tajine with citrus and chicken). The brightness of the fruit will add a lot of flavor and natural sweetness while complementing the meat. Or, go ahead and dip them in white chocolate!!
Which veggies or fruits are you experimenting with this year?