It's hard to get the green vegetables we crave this time of year. Farmers' markets have closed down and the CSA is done until next year. We slink through the aisles of the big-box supermarket looking for produce from anywhere near where we live. It feels wrong to even look at the strawberries, spring mix lettuce, and "baby" carrots whittled into bite-size convenience.
What do you eat in the winter? Are there any markets open where you live? Do you make do with canned goods and potatoes, or are there other resources at your disposal?
Here are a few of the things we look for in the winter... • Cabbage: We found locally raised cabbage at an indoor farmers market and we are on a kick with this hardy winter vegetable. In fact, we are actively working to get more people to eat cabbage - it's crunchy and refreshing when cooked quickly and left almost raw. It's soft and sweet when braised like in our favorite Wine-Braised Cabbage.
• Broccoli: This vegetable is so ubiquitous that even greenhouse-raised broccoli in an otherwise colorless winter doesn't get us very excited. But we forget how good it can be just steamed with a little soy sauce and butter, or used for crisp freshness in a pasta salad like Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad.
• Fennel: This hardy winter bulb has a bracing, clean taste that wakes up the tastebuds in the winter. It's excellent braised with meat and other vegetables, or as a flavor builder like in this Fennel, Lemon and Garlic Confit. And of course this is one of the ultimate winter salads: Fennel, Orange and Shallot Salad.
Check out our post on winter salads for more ideas on getting winter colors into your meals.
What kind of fresh fruits and vegetables are you finding where you're at?