If you like to eat seasonally, winter can present a challenge. We have plenty of winter produce in California (that is shipped to your state if you live elsewhere), but it may be less familiar to us than summer and fall items. Most people wouldn’t see kholrabi or chayote at the market and think “Oooh! Just what I was hoping to make for dinner!” We’re more likely to give it a weird stare and move on to the bag of baby greens and yellow-looking tomatoes we at least recognize. Here are some delicious fruits and veggies to keep your eye out for in the winter and early spring.
Root Veggies: Beets, Carrots, Parsnip, Rutabaga, Onions, Leeks, Turnips, Kohlrabi, Chives, Radishes
Other Vegetables: Brussels Sprouts, Fava Beans, Cabbage, Winter Cauliflower, Collards, Swiss Chard, Broccoli, Iceberg Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Spinach, Winter Squash, Chayote
Fruits: Oranges, Tangerines, Satsumas, Pears, Kiwis, Grapefruit, Cherimoya, Passion Fruit, Pummelo, Apples, Avocados
Here’s one idea for what to do with some winter veggies: a simple cabbage slaw (to replace the standard green salad that’s better in summertime).
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 head Radicchio (small leafy red-cabbage-looking ball)
2 carrots, shredded or thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
handful of fresh cilantro, mint, or basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, or sliced almonds
Combine all these vegetables in a large bowl. Pour about 1/3 cup Asian-style dressing (try Newman’s Own Lowfat Sesame Ginger, or Ken’s Lite Asian Sesame) over them and toss gently with your hands to coat. Let the slaw sit in the dressing for 5-10 minutes, tossing occasionally, before serving.
Note: this recipe makes a lot, and can be saved in the fridge even with the dressing on it: it just gets more flavorful.