Winter Cooking Recommendations

Complimentary Ingredients for the Winter Kitchen

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Dry Wines



Salty cheeses (Pecorino Romano, Gorgonzola, Feta etc.)


Red pepper flakes


Cured Meats (Bacon, Pancetta, Sausage, Prosciutto)

Other Vegetables In Your Tote – pair up your sides, most of your vegetables make fantastic partners!

Preparation and Cooking Recommendations

Arugula – adds a peppery bite to a salad on its own, or can be thrown in with a lettuce mix. Great paired with pear, walnut, and gorgonzola or beet, apple, and chèvre. Also a golden addition to pizzas or paninis.

Beets – great in a salad or slaw. Also, their sweetness is enhanced by roasting them in the oven!  Bake in a casserole dish with ¼ in. water, with lid on at 375º F for 45+ min. Peels should slip off when cooled (if not, increase cooking time). And don’t throw out those greens!! De-stem the leaves, chop and sauté with some olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar or white wine, and red pepper flakes. We enjoy them even better than chard!

Broccolini – Stems and all can be eaten. You may want to halve some of the thicker stems, but don’t discard! Sweet and tender, it truly is the asparagus of broccoli! Best lightly cooked in a stir fry, pasta, or on a pizza.

Bulls blood beets – slightly less sweet than our other beets, but they have these intensely gorgeous leaves that actually retain their red color when sautéed for a few minutes.

Cauliflower – The variety of cauliflower we grow has a tendency to branch out more than cauliflower you may be used to. But it can still be prepared the same way. It is also nice because it does not have such a thick core. That means more curds for your buck! Must try this roasted in the oven!

Cuor di bue cabbage – even though it has a pointed head, it is very similar to your typical cabbage, but is an heirloom variety.

Czech black pepper – can be eaten raw or cooked. If you don’t cook it too long, it keeps its intense color. Treat it like a mild jalapeño.

Escarole – Chop as you would lettuce. Can also be thrown into a salad for a bitter bite. Or excellent sautéed and put into a pasta, risotto, on a pizza, or tossed into a soup.

Frisée Endive – Chop as you would lettuce. Tasty in a salad mixed with lettuce or on its own. Be careful with what you dress it with. Citrus and mustard based dressings are most recommended.

Fennel bulb – Sliced thin, it is great in a salad, especially when paired with citrus. It is also great roasted. Roast beets, turnips, and fennel bulb make an excellent trio!

Leeks – Our leeks have a lot of white/light green on the shank. Be sure to enjoy it all!

Rapini / Broccoli Raab – Leaves and the small broccoli head can be eaten. Thicker stems can be prepared as well if chopped finely. Highly recommended sautéed in a, pasta, panini, pizza, polenta or in a simple soup. It is best cooked simply, such as with olive oil, balsamic and red pepper flakes.

Red Peperoncini – These are the raw, mature versions of what you see pickled in the store. Taste is similar to a red bell pepper, but has a different texture. Seed cavity is mild. Use raw or cooked.

Romanesco cauliflower – a variety of cauliflower that has a nuttier, more refined flavor than your typical white cauliflower. It can be chopped and used the same as you would other cauliflower. We like to separate the cones for use in a stir fry, curry, or pasta to showcase the fractal curds.

Red Russian Kale – Cook similar to other greens, but de-rib and chop rib finely. Another idea is to make kale chips, by coating with olive oil and baking until crisp.

Salad turnips – great in salad, slaw, or styir-fry. Also, extremely tasty roasted in the oven!


Grilled Escarole Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

Grilled Escarole Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

Altered from Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing, Bon Appétit, Jan 1994

2 large heads garlic
1/4 cup dry vermouth
4 1/2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil

2 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
3 cups 1-inch French bread cubes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

1 head escarole
1 1/4 cups grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese (about 5 ounces)

Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Peel off papery outer skin from whole garlic, keeping heads in tact. Place in small casserole dish. Pour vermouth over. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over garlic. Season with pepper. Cover; bake until garlic is very soft and paste-like, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool garlic.

Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Mix 2 1/2 tablespoon oil and rosemary on baking sheet. Season with pepper. Add bread cubes and turn cubes in oil mixture to coat. Bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Cool.

Squeeze garlic to remove cloves from skins. Place in small bowl and mash with fork to form paste. Transfer paste to blender. Add fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce and puree. With machine running, gradually add 1/3 cup olive oil. (Croutons and dressing can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Heat grill to high. Cut escarole into 4 wedges, lengthwise, and coat with 1 tablespoons olive oil. Grill escarole wedges until lines appear, and transfer, cut side up onto plates. Let cool to room temperature. Pour dressing over. Sprinkle cheese and croutons over salad. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve.

Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower Pasta with Cream Sauce

Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower Pasta with Cream Sauce

1 head romanesco cauliflower

1-2 super marconi peppers

1-2 carrot roots

2 leeks, sliced finely

¼ lb shiitake mushroom (or other gourmet variety)

4-5 cloves garlic

2 tb butter

½ c dry white wine

1 ½ c heavy whipping cream

½  c pecorino romano, grated

Parsley, chopped fine.

Pasta (we like capellini)

This is a quick recipe, besides the one hour of roasting. Take advantage of the hot oven to roast some beets for an accompanied salad.

Preheat oven 375º F. Cut the romanesco cauliflower in half, and place face down in a large, coverable pan suitable for roasting (glass or other). Spilt peppers, de-stem and deseed, and add along with carrots. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil. Chuck in the oven for 30 min.

Uncover your roasting vegetables, and raise oven heat to 400º F for 15 min.

Snap off shiitake heads from stems, and chop the stems finely. Chop garlic, and mash with side of knife or garlic press.

Melt 2 tb butter in a large skillet. Add leeks, finely chopped mushroom stems, and mushroom heads for 10 min. Add garlic with ¼ c wine (reserve the other ¼ cup), and turn the flame off.

Remove roasted vegetables from oven and add ¼ c wine to cleanse pan. Cut romanesco florets off the central rib, and slice the central rib thinly. Slice the roasted peppers ¼ in thin. Scrape up the remnants soaking in the wine, and add everything to the skillet.

Warm skillet and add cream and most of pecorino romano, careful not to boil. Stir in most of parsley, and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring as needed.

Top with rest of parsley and pecorino romano and serve.


Escarole Ribollita

Escarole Ribollita

1 head escarole

1 fennel bulb (reserve a few sprigs)

1 large or 2-3 small carrots

1.5 c cooked or 1 can cannellini beans (cooked from dried or from a can)

1 sausage

2 tb rosemary leaves

1 tb fennel seed

½ c white wine

Stale bread (at least 1 cup, you can substitute bread crumbs or toast some fresh bread)

5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tb. red pepper flakes

3 quarts water

Vegetable or chicken stock if you will not prepare your own.

1 tsp salt (not necessary if you’re buying a stock)

Prepare cannellini beans if not from a can.  If you’re buying a stock, heat it up in a large soup pot. If you’re not buying stock, prepare a stock by taking a large soup pot, dropping a metal colander into it, adding 3 quarts water, throwing all your carrot, fennel (reserve a few for topping), and leek tops into it (or anything else you’re not gonna eat soon). Bring to a boil, and then simmer for at least 30 min. Pull out the vegetable-filled colander for compost.

Thinly slice 1-2 onions. Dice sausage if in casing. Slice fennel bulb ¼ in thick. Reserve tops for garnish. Halve carrots lengthwise, then slice thinly into half-moons. Chop rosemary leaves and toast fennel seeds lightly. Chop escarole into ½ in strips, and make a few haphazard cuts through the rest.

Heat a large skillet. Add olive oil to coat entire base of pan and lower heat. Add onion and sausage. Cook 5 min. Add fennel bulb and carrots and cook for 4 min. Add rosemary and fennel seed for a minute. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of your pan.

Add skillet ingredients you’ve prepared to your liquid-filled soup pot along with your chopped escarole at a medium-low flame for 15 minutes. Toast your bread, if you’re using fresh.

Add garlic, cooked beans, bread, and salt. Cook 30 minutes..

Garnish with pecorino romano, fennel sprigs, and red pepper flakes.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Fine Cooking 47, Oct, 2002

Served with a tartly dressed green salad, this soup is hearty and filling enough for a light supper. I like the convenience of using chicken broth, but if you have a good beef broth on hand, feel free to use it for even deeper flavor. Serves six. Yields 4.5 cups.

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 large yellow onions (about 1 1/5 lb. total), sliced about 1/8 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. all-purpose flour
½  cup dry white wine (not oaky), such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
4 cups homemade chicken or beef broth, or low-salt canned chicken broth
1 sprig flat-leaf parsley, 1 sprig fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf tied together with kitchen twine
1 baguette, cut into as many 3/8-inch slices as needed to cover three soup crocks
1-1/2 cups (about 6 oz.) grated Gruyère cheese

In a large, wide soup pot (at least 2-1/2 qt.), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and season lightly with salt and pepper. (It might seem like you have far too many onions, but they'll cook down to about one-quarter of their original volume.) Cook the onions gently, stirring frequently, until they're very soft and have begun to turn a dark straw color, 35 to 45 min.; I like them when they're still a little toothy and haven't yet begun to brown too much.

When the onions are ready, stir in the flour and cook for 3 to 4 min., stirring frequently. Pour in the wine and increase the heat to medium high, stirring and scraping to loosen any caramelized juices, until the liquid is mostly reduced, 5 to 8 min. Add the broth, toss in the tied herbs, and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 to 30 min. to infuse the broth with onion flavor; the onions should be soft but not falling apart. Remove the herb bundle and taste the soup for seasoning. The soup can be made ahead to this point and then cooled and refrigerated for a few days.

To serve -- Heat the oven to 350°F, put the baguette slices on a rack, and toast lightly (7 to 10 min.); set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Set three ovenproof soup crocks on a heavy baking sheet and ladle the soup into the crocks. Float a few toasted baguette slices on top, enough to cover the soup surface without too much overlap. Top the bread with a handful (about 1/4 cup) of the grated Gruyère. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and just browning in spots, 10 to 12 min.

Melted, bubbly, just barely golden cheese is what you're after. Serve the soup right away, while the crock is hot and the cheese is still gooey.

Cabbage with Caraway Seeds

Cabbage with Caraway Seeds

altered from Red Cabbage with Caraway Seeds, Saveur, Issue #22

1⁄4 lb. uncured sausage, casing removed
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
1 large head cabbage, cored and shredded
3 tsp. caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
2 1⁄4 cups dry white wine
2 tbsp. honey

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook sausage in a large deep skillet over low heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-low, add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 7 minutes.

Add vinegar if pan is sticking, then cabbage and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, then add caraway seeds, and bay leaf, and cook 5 more minutes. Increase heat to medium; add wine, honey, and vinegar; and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is soft and cooking liquid has evaporated, about 45 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 3 minutes. (Add water if liquid evaporates too quickly and cabbage begins to stick to skillet.) Add salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste.

(Optional) Remove cabbage mixture from heat, transfer to a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. To serve, warm cabbage mixture over low heat, adjusting seasoning with salt, pepper, and vinegar if necessary.

Bacon can be substituted for sausage, just increase the initial cooking time of the meat and keep on a low flame.

Pirat & Frisée Endive Salad with Beets, Fennel, and Caramelized Leeks

Pirat & Frisée Endive Salad with Beets, Fennel, and Caramelized Leeks.

2 Tb. butter

1 leek, sliced thinly

1 garlic clove

½ tsp salt

1 Tb coarse-grain mustard

1 Tb red-wine vinegar

1 tsp black pepper

¼ c extra-virgin olive oil

¼ c orange juice (preferably fresh-squeezed)

1 head pirat lettuce, chopped

1 head frisée lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

2 beets, roasted with peels removed, sliced thinly

1 fennel bulb, sliced ¼ in. or save fennel sprigs

1/3 c walnuts, toasted chopped

¼ c gorgonzola (optional)

Melt butter in a small pan, and drop flame to lowest setting. Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally for 20 min. Let cool.

Mince garlic with a large heavy knife, then mash to a paste with salt using flat side of knife.

Whisk together garlic paste, mustard, vinegar, pepper, and orange juice, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.

Just before serving, toss greens with vinaigrette, and top with beets, fennel, caramelized leeks, walnuts, and gorgonzola if desired

Wild Rice, Fennel, and Sausage Stuffing

Wild Rice, Sausage and Fennel Stuffing

Altered from Bon Appétit, Nov 1995

3 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups wild rice (about 9 ounces), rinsed, drained

1 cup water

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

1/3 pound shiitakes, de-stemmed and cut into thirds or halves

3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Combine broth, rice, 1 cup water and fennel seeds in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until rice is tender, stirring occasionally, about 55 minutes. Drain.

Sauté sausage in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to plate. Add chopped fennel bulbs, onions, and shiitakes to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until vegetables are golden, about 10 minutes. Add rice and sausage to skillet. Sauté until heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. If serving as side dish, rewarm covered in 350°F. oven for 20 minutes.) Transfer to bowl and serve. If using as stuffing, cool completely and fill bird.

Winter Escabeche

Winter Escabeche

2.5 lb. radishes, carrots, and onions in whatever proportion you like

2 czech black peppers
1 garlic bulb
2 cups water
2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 Tb kosher or pickling salt (NOT iodized!)
1.5 Tb sugar

2 tsp oregano
bay leaves
Black peppercorns
sprigs of fresh thyme, cilantro stems, coriander seeds

Ball jar(s)

Slice carrots into sticks or disks. Cut radishes into wedges. Slice onion into thick rings. Slice Czech black peppers lengthwise. Peel garlic cloves, and crush slightly with the side of a knife. Boil together the water, vinegar, salt and sugar.

Start with very clean jars (from the dishwasher hot cycle or cleaned by hand then dipped into a boiling water bath). To each jar add a garlic clove, a bay leaf, 4-8 peppercorns, 4-8 coriander seeds, and 6 cilantro stems. Pack in radishes, carrots, and onions, and Czech black slices almost to fill, leaving a little more than ½ in space from top. Cover with the boiling brine, leaving ½ in space. Cover with a clean lid, and refrigerate. They should be good to eat in a week.

Note: Cauliflower, Romanesco Cauliflower, and salad turnips from past weeks make fine additions, if you still have some leftover.