We are in the heart of winter. Now is the time to take advantage of the best produce of the season. We have gathered our five favorites that you can start cooking with tonight! All of these items are going to add color and delicious natural flavor to your recipes. Beets and Kale in particular are going to be great for salad creations!
Beets: We love beets, not only because they taste so good, but because they add vibrant color to any plate. This root ranges from deep purple to golden yellow. Although, many grocery stores sell them pre-roasted and packaged, we recommend buying them straight from the produce section and roasting them in your oven.
Recipe to Try: Brilliant Butternut Squash Salad
Blood Oranges: This sultry citrus is ready to be the star of your next meal. They are wonderful peeled and eaten solo for a quick and healthy snack, but also can be a great addition to salads and sauces. They can also be grilled and served with a protein. Two of the most prominent kinds of blood oranges are the Moro and Tarocco. Moros are a bit darker in flesh and more bitter in flavor. Tarocco oranges have more vitamin C per bite than any other orange variety. Their flesh color is more similar to a standard orange. Sometimes you will see light hints of pink, but mostly you will see orange.
Recipe to Try: Autumn Spritz
Kale: This is one leafy green that is here to stay on the culinary scene and right now it’s in its prime! Kale comes in a few different varieties, the most popular being, Curly, Red and Tuscan (aka Dinosaur Kale). Curly and Red Kale are very dense and have very textured leaves, this makes them good for cooking into other dishes, not so great for salads. Tuscan Kale is what you want to use for salads. Don’t forget to massage for the best flavor!
Leeks: Fun fact, leeks are relatives of garlic and onions, so naturally they make great additions to any savory dish, soup or sauce. They have a sweeter flavor than an onion, which makes them extra delicious when sautéed in butter. When selecting your leeks at the market, go for the ones with crisp leaves. Also, make sure to rinse your leeks very well before cooking as dirt can get stuck between the leaves.
Lemons: Is there anything that lemons don’t go well with? Having lemons on hand at all times is a must for any chef. Their juice adds flavor to chicken, seafood, pasta, salad dressings, even red meats or pork, oh and we almost forgot desserts! Get them now while they are at their juiciest.
Recipe to Try: Lemon Rosemary Tart
There you go, grab this produce by the fist-full and have a delicious time in your kitchen.
Photo Credit: Tara Redfield, Vegan Yumminess