What’s in season? Winter edition.

After this many months of snow and ice, it’s hard to believe any fresh produce could be in season. But believe it or not, there are still some seriously amazing – and delicious – winter crops to enjoy. We get fantastic local produce in Ontario year-round, and even when the ground is frosted over, there are tons of fun new ingredients to try out. Here’s what we’re loving right now…

Back to your roots

When it comes to winter crops, root veggies are king. But this family goes way beyond potatoes (not that we don’t love a good spud). Produce markets are heaped with an abundance of delicious beets, turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, sweet potatoes and more. For an easy, healthy dinner, try roasting an assortment of root veggies with olive oil and some fresh thyme or rosemary. Serve over couscous or brown rice and you’re good to go.

All about alliums

Winter is also an amazing time for members of the onion family, from garlic and chives to onions and leeks. Since these guys pair particularly well with the root veggies listed above, try combining them into a tasty pureed soup. From the classic potato-leek to a garlicky carrot, you pretty much can’t go wrong.

Cool cabbages

They’re inexpensive. They’re super nutritious. And…they’re a little bit intimidating. But once you get to know the cabbage family, you’ll see they’re a winter workhorse. Try sautéing sliced cabbage in olive oil, then topping with fresh herbs and goat cheese. Or, thinly slice some red cabbage and use it to bulk up your next salad or veggie soup. You’ll wonder how you ever went without it.

The carrot family

Did you know fennel is related to carrots? And that they’re both fresh and delicious all winter long? No wonder these two super veggies go so well together. Try roasting carrots and fennel in the oven until caramelized, then tossing with lemon juice, garlic and a hearty grain like farro. Or, try a tasty salad of shaved, raw fennel and citrus.

Citrus season, baby!

…which brings us to our next category. Usually, we prefer to eat local whenever possible. But for citrus season, we make a BIG exception. Every January and February, the markets are piled high with gorgeous blood oranges, grapefruits and lemons of every variety. The best part? They go magnificently with so many other things in season. Sweet potato and orange? Leek and lemon? It doesn’t get better than that.

Apples and oranges

If you’d rather stick to local fruits, you’re in luck. Ontario and Quebec apples are still tasty as can be right through February. Try branching out from the usual Mackintosh or Red Delicious, and go for something unusual like a Scarlet Pippin, Golden Russet or Pink Lady.

So, now you know what to look for on the grocery shelves this month. What food do you look forward to every winter? Write us at blog@madradish.com

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