Winter Produce How-To

Your mini-guide to cooking with winter produce.

The more snow we get, the more distant summer and its fresh produce seem to be. But before you succumb to spending the rest of the winter eating veggies from a can, listen up: You can still find fresh, local vegetables! Sure, they aren’t as visually appealing as other crops (they do grow underground, after all), but they excel at satisfying comfort-food cravings.

In fact, root vegetables and tubers, with their unique blend of sugars and carbohydrates, are meant to sustain us during these bitter winter months, says Travis Lusk, produce manager at Seward Co-Op. Beets, rutabaga, turnips, celeriac (celery root), radishes, carrots—these are the kings of warming foods, and they’re all available right now from local producers.

They’re easy to cook, too. Just dice them up, toss them with some olive oil and salt (or herbs—rosemary is always a good bet!), and roast them on a cookie sheet until they’re as crispy or soft as you’d like. Or mix them together to make a hearty stew. You can find plenty of recipes for how to cook with winter produce online through The Wedge, Seward Co-op, and Harmony Village Farms. When shopping, Lusk says to look for firm vegetables with unblemished skin (knobs and odd shapes are okay).