When I think “local food,” I think of green pastures of vegetables and animals ranging freely in the sunshine, farmer’s markets with fresh produce and farm-to-table meals. Some very appealing images.
However, looking out my window now, I see that it’s January and the weather continues to alternate between freezing rain/slush/gross and powdery snow with biting cold. No green fields of vegetables or grazing cows. I suppose that could make it a little harder for one to get excited about the outdoors or any of its products.
But continuing to support the local food producers in our community through the Januarys, Februrarys, Marches, and rainy Aprils is a huge part of what being ethical about your food choices means. And I know that incorporating those winter vegetables into your meals can be difficult–what can you do with brussels sprouts? Cabbage? Leeks?
You can stop worrying. Thanks in part to my mother’s continuous efforts to find and/or create delicious new recipes, and my very long winter vacation sealed inside my kitchen, I have more than a few solutions to share with you.
Goat Cheese , Leek, and Mushroom Tart
3 Tbs. Butter, divided
3 lbs. leeks, white parts and 1 in. of pale green parts, thinly sliced
2 Tsp. Frsh Thyme
1 bay leaf
½ cup chicken stock
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. pepper
1/3 c. crème fraiche
3 oz. goat cheese crumbled
½ lb. mushrooms, coarsely chopped
In pie crust, baked at 425 for 30 min.:
In fry pan over medium high heat, melt 2 Tbs. butter. Add leeks and sauté 4-5 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf, stock, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the leeks are nearly tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook 15 minutes more. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in crème fraiche and goat cheese until well mixed.
In another fry pan over medium high heat, melt remaining 1 Tbs. butter. Add mushrooms, ½ tsp salt ad ¼ tsp. pepper and sauté until the mushrooms are soft and have released their juices, 3-4 minutes.
Pour leek mixture into prepared, baked pie crust. Bake at 400 for ~ 20 minutes, or until crust and leeks are golden. Top with mushroom mixture and bake 5-10 minutes more.
Roasted broccoli with lemon and Pecorino
1 ½ cup broccoli
¼ cup and 2 Tbl olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 Tbl lemon juice
1/3 c. Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan)
Heat oven to 450
Put the whole bag of broccoli in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt; toss well to combine. Spread the brocc into an even layer on a baking dish and roast until tender and golden brown, about 10 – 15 min. Remove from oven, toss with lemon juice and cheese.
Brussels Sprout Slaw
½ c. pecan halves
1 ½ tsp. plus ¼ c. olive oil
¼ tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1 tsp. sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and fibrous stems removed
1 small head radicchio, quartered and cored
2 Tblsp. Cider vinegar
1 Tblsp. Fresh lemon juice
2 Tblsp. Whole-grain mustard
3 Tblsp. Maple syrup
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees
In small bowl, combine the pecans, the 1 ½ tsp. olive oil, the ¼ tsp. salt, the sugar, and the cayenne and stir to coat evenly. Transfer to a baking sheet and toast in the oven until browned, 10-12 minutes. Let cool.
Using the grater attachment to a food processor, shred the Brussels sprouts and radicchio. Transfer to a large bowl and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in the ¼ c. olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
Add half of the dressing to the Brussels sprout-radicchio mixture and toss well to combine, adding more dressing as needed. Let stand for 15 minutes to slightly wilt the Brussels sprouts. Top with pecans and serve immediately.
Red Cabbage Gratin
3 Tblsp. unsalted butter, softened
9 cups shredded red cabbage (about 1 ½ small heads)
2 ½ cups heavy cream
2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¾ c. parmesan cheese
¾ c. finely chopped walnuts
¾ c. panko bread crumbs
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 3 qt. baking dish with 1 Tblsp. Butter; add cabbage and set aside. Combine cream, paprika, sugar, and salt and pepper in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until mixture just begins to simmer. Pour cream mixture over cabbage and stir to combine.
In medium bowl, toss together Parmesan, walnuts, and bread crumbs; sprinkle evenly over cabbage and dot top with remaining butter. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake until cream is absorbed and cabbage is tender, about 50 minutes. Remove foil, increase heat to 400 degrees, and continue baking until topping is browned and crisp, about 10-15 minutes more. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.