[Metroactive Dining]

[ Dining Index | Silicon Valley | Metroactive Home | Archives ]

5 Things to Love

Cold Weather Veggies

IN SPITE of the piles of tomatoes and stacks of strawberries at your local supermarket, the summer produce season is over. But that doesn't mean you need to turn to canned vegetables or out of season produce from Chile. Winter vegetables abound and they complement the slow-cooked, heartier foods that are so satisfying when it's cold outside.

Brussels Sprouts: These golf-ball-sized members of the cabbage family have suffered more abuse than civil rights under John Ashcroft. Treated properly, they're delicious and high in Vitamin C. The main crime against them is overcooking, which makes them bitter. The best method is to blanch them and then sauté in butter or olive oil. Sautéing with chopped bacon and Dijon mustard is especially good.

Butternut Squash: The great thing about this peanut-looking squash is that it's so easy to prepare. Split in half, clean out the seeds, dab with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Eat and enjoy.

Beets: Unlike the purple slabs that come in cans, fresh beets come in a variety of colors like gold, pink, candy-striped and red. Chiogga beets are some of the best. Steamed and served hot with just salt and pepper or cold in vinaigrette, beets are one of winter's star vegetables.

Broccoli Raab: Also called rapini, broccoli raab has vaulted from its status as Italian peasant fare to a trendy vegetable. Sautéed with garlic and olive oil it's a great side dish, or couple with Italian sausage for a great pasta dish.

Parsnips: Parsnips are carrots' more interesting cousin. Their subtly, spicy-sweet flavor makes them a great winter vegetable. Roast to a golden brown or steam and purée and add to mashed potatoes.

Send a letter to the editor about this story to letters@metronews.com.

[ Silicon Valley | Metroactive Home | Archives ]

From the November 10-16, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.