Hungry for a sustainable, healthy winter meal that is both savory and colorful?
It’s easy to cook with local, seasonal produce when it’s sunny and the farmers’ markets are overflowing. But believe it or not, you have plenty of fresh and fulfilling options in winter as well.
Tantalizing Dishes Made with Winter Seasonal Vegetables
Why This Matters
- Seasonal produce tastes better because it’s allowed to ripen naturally, instead of being picked prematurely to ship sometimes thousands of miles.
- Buying local and seasonal means reduced transportation, eliminating the chemicals used to preserve the produce and the energy required to refrigerate it.
- Eating what’s in season means eating what’s in abundance, so therefore the prices are usually lower.
Did You Know?
Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse that contains a host of phytochemicals including many that protect against cancer.
On a Personal Note
After cooking with Chef Clark, I am now less intimidated about making a colorful salad (there’s no “cooking” or perfect timing required!) and this savory soup with caramelized cauliflower.
Ready to Try?
- Watch the episode to get great ideas for how you can cook seasonally.
- Use this interactive map to see what’s in season in your region of the country right now.
- Look below to give Clark’s soup and salad recipes a shot.
Our Fresh Pick
What could be more comforting in the cold winter months than some homemade soup in a gorgeous, handmade soup bowl? ($25 / 4 bowls).
A Deeper Dig
Check out the book Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Lianna Krissoff if you’re ready to jump into preserves head-first. There are even recipes on how to actually use your canned foods instead of letting them sit neglected in the pantry.
Recipes from Chef Clark
Caramelized Cauliflower Soup with Wild Mushrooms
Cauliflower is a very affordable vegetable that – when prepared correctly – is delicious and nutritious. While cauliflower is related to cabbage and broccoli, its taste is much milder
This is a very simple winter soup that is vegetarian and can be made vegan without the addition of the butter and the cream. These 2 ingredients, however, add a depth to the rich caramelization of the simple cauliflower. ‘Caramelization’ is the process where the natural vegetable sugars in the cauliflower slowly turn to a golden brown and give the otherwise bland cauliflower a rich taste.
- 2 heads of organic Cauliflower – broken into small florets.
- 2 TBS Unsalted Butter
- 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 head Fennel – diced
- 1TBS fresh Thyme leaves
- 2 cloves peeled Garlic – smashed or minced
- 4C Water or Vegetable Stock
- 2C Cream
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- 0.5C fresh Wild Mushrooms such as Miatake or Chanterelles
- 1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Over a medium-low heat in a thick-bottomed pan, melt the butter and add the olive oil.
- Add the cauliflower and toss to coat. Keep it over the medium low heat and stir every now and then while you make your salad. The goal is to slowly, over 40-50 minutes, turn the white cauliflower a nice toasty golden brown.
- After about 20 minutes, add the fennel and stir. Keep it over the medium low heat.
- After about 35 minutes, add the thyme leaves, garlic and stir. The cauliflower should now have a toasty small and the fennel and garlic will make any kitchen very inviting!
- When the cauliflower is rather dark golden but not burnt, you can take the back of a wooden spoon and break apart the heads more. The mixture should be consistently golden brown.
- Add the water or the stock and stir all the bits from the pan into it.
- Bring the heat up to a mild simmer.
- Add the cream, if using.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place in a food processor and carefully place a towel over the top and start on low speed. Gradually increase the speed and puree until smooth.
- Transfer back to a put and keep on low heat. Season with salt and pepper.
- For a garnish, slice up some fresh mushrooms and put them in a pan over medium-high heat. You are going to simply cook off some of the water and intensify the mushroom flavor in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, taste the soup and make sure it’s seasoned properly, and ladle it into a bowl and garnish with the sautéed mushrooms in the oil!
Winter Salad of Chicory Lettuces
Winter green salads are heartier and more complex than summer salads. Chicories, or winter salad greens, have a more complex taste. They are pleasantly bitter and robust. Generally speaking, the darker the vegetable the more nutritious the leaves.
Purslane, usually considered a weed in this country, kicks nutritional booty! Purslane is the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids of any green, leafy vegetable. This lemony, crisp nutritional powerhouse is actually a succulent. Many describe it as similar to arugula or spinach. It’s less bitter than arugula and less tannic than spinach.
Nasturtiums are nutritionally dense, as their leaves contain significant levels of vitamin C and iron. Medicinally they are known to be useful in breaking up congestion of the respiratory system and they provide excellent relief from colds.
- 1 head Radicchio
- 1 bunch Dandelion Greens
- 1 bunch Friseé
- 1C Arugula
- 1C Purslane
- 1 medium Red Carrot sliced thinly thru a mandoline into ice water
- 6 Breakfast Radishes quartered
- 0.5C Cherry Tomatoes – halved
- 0.25C Black Olives – chopped
- 0.5C Nasturtium Leaves
- 5-6 Nasturtium Flowers
- 0.25C Feta Cheese
- Juice from 2 Meyer Lemons
- 2TBS Sherry Vinegar
- 2TBS Balsamic Vinegar
- 0.5C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Place all the cleaned leaves and the purslane in a large salad bowl.
- Mix all the salad dressing ingredients in a small jar. Put the lid on the jar and shake it vigorously to blend.
- Toss the leaves with the dressing and carefully arrange on a platter or individual salad plates.
- Toss the carrot slices, radishes, and tomato halves in the bowl gently to coat with dressing and arrange on the plate with leaves.
- Season the salad with Salt and Pepper.
- Scatter the olives and Feta Cheese over the salad.
- Arrange the Nasturtium leaves and flowers on the salad.