It’s that season here in the Finger Lakes when winter and spring enter a wrestling match (thank goodness spring eventually wins). It’ll be a few months yet before tomatoes and zucchinis hit the table and if you’ve gotten in a rut with winter produce it might be time to try something new with your CSA faves.
We’re lucky that many farmers have vegetables available all winter. Here’s a list of the most common local produce available now:
Thanks to controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, apples are available year-round and New York is one of the top three apple producers in the country so look for the Grown in NY label. Greenhouses, even unheated ones, have also extended the season for leafy greens by a lot.
But root vegetables are the winter standbys, and the obvious reason why the Saint Patty’s Day traditional meal includes potatoes, onions and carrots. They’re great for the simplicity of prep. I usually go for a mix of whatever I have on hand, cube them up and just roast with a little olive oil. And if you throw down some parchment paper on your roasting pan, clean-up is easy too.
Get creative! Souped, stewed, sautéed, roasted, mashed, shredded, fried… these winter keepers can be served in lots of ways. Making a slaw is an excellent way to make use of the radish and daikon — keeps great in the fridge and makes a tasty side dish.
Try leafy greens in a smoothie or (my son’s favorite) make Chimichurri sauce to use up a bunch of parsley.
If you’re finding that potatoes, beets and carrots start seeming blah this late in the winter, find a new angle. And next year, you may find that winter’s not long enough to try all the fabulous new recipes!