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Martha's Winter Vegetables with Alice

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MarthasArchive
Recipe Category: Vegetarian
Recipe Preparation Level: easy
    The use of locally grown seasonal organic fruits and vegetables is gaining in popularity. Organic foods, grown without herbicides or pesticides, are more nutritious than their counterparts, and do not contain chemicals that may cause or promote cancers. Eating local fruits and vegetables that are in season also prevents health risks associated with shipping, forced growing techniques, or storage.

    Chef Alice Waters, owner of the acclaimed Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, has been using freshly prepared organic fruits and vegetables at her restaurants for almost twenty years. In fact, she was at the vanguard of the organic farming movement. Fostering a significant network of regional small organic farms and producers, she made serving healthy‹delicious‹food a priority.

    Alice, now an authority on fruits and vegetables in all their varieties, offers Martha valuable information about a wide range of winter vegetables.

    Winter Vegetable Glossary

    Carrots come in many different shapes and colors. There are white carrots, pale-orange carrots, round carrots, Nantes (orange-torpedo) carrots, and red Charentais carrots. Look for firm, crisp, unblemished varieties with bright-green tops. Use small carrots right away, and store all carrots in the coldest part of the fridge, loosely wrapped.

    The word "beet" derives from the Celtic word for "red." In addition to red slicing beets, there are white beets and golden beets, which have been around since the 1800s. Both the bulb and the greens are good for eating, and these vegetables are as good roasted and served hot as they are pickled and served cold.

    Radishes make an ideal bite-size, low-calorie snack. They can be grown year-round, so use them in salads as often as you can. In addition to the familiar red radishes, there are black, white, and purple-and-red radishes, among others.

    Available in varieties such as baby red, large white, and baby white, turnips have wonderful-tasting tops that resemble broccoli rabe in flavor.

    A member of the parsley family, this root vegetable was brought to America by European colonists in the 1600s. The first frost converts the parsnip's starch to sugar; this accounts for its sweet flavor.

    Consider trying salsify, a root vegetable also called an oyster plant, which has a pungent flavor reminiscent of oysters. Celeriac has a fresh taste and is ideal for salads. Baby collards, bok choy, tatsoi, pea shoots, and kale are other nutritious vegetables available during the winter months.

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