Think winter is a bleak and barren wasteland of boring root vegetables? Think again, because there's so much more to winter produce than meets the eye. Winter is a great time to take advantage of dark, leafy greens at their peak — spinach, kale, and collard greens come to mind — and anything remotely related to cabbage, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts (everyone's favorite), bok choy, and yes, kale. Let's not forget about citrus, either — Meyer lemons, anyone?
But, a trip to the farmers' market will reveal the fact that even root vegetables can be exciting. Winter is a great time to seek out more obscure items at the farmers' market, including watermelon radishes, heirloom variety potatoes, and black salsify.
For some (perhaps much needed) inspiration, take a whirl through this collection of 15 recipes, including David Chang's Brussels sprouts with kimchi purée and bacon, reminiscent of the popular side dish that was once on the menu at his Noodle Bar; Andrew Carmellini's coconut-curry butternut squash soup, inspired by his adventures with Indian cuisine in New York; and Chad Sarno's crunchy kale salad, a perfect start to a healthy meal.
Andrew Carmellini's coconut-curry butternut squash soup
Andrew Carmellini shares his recipe for coconut-curry butternut squash soup with lemongrass and cilantro yogurt from his recently published book, "American Flavor."
Seamus Mullen's winter market soup
Seamus Mullen's winter market soup is a meal in a bowl. Every bite reveals a complex array of flavors — the mineral punch of kale, pungent horseradish, the brightness of lemon zest, and always ever present, the earthy, meaty flavor of the broth.
Crunchy kale salad from Whole Foods Market
Sometimes, we feel a bit guilty about the things we've eaten. It's perfectly normal. Set things right again with this healthy yet delicious crunchy kale salad from Chad Sarno.
David Chang's Brussels sprouts with kimchi purée and bacon
David Chang's unexpected hit at Noodle Bar was a version of this side dish, which became so popular, he had to take it off the menu. Try his Brussels sprouts with kimchi purée and bacon tonight.
Creamed collard greens with pimentón dulce
This delicious side dish draws inspiration from Spanish cooking with the use of pimentón dulce, a smoky-sweet variety of paprika. Don't miss out on Viviane Bauquet Farre's creamed collard greens with pimentón dulce.
Vic Rallo's roasted broccoli rabe
Vic Rallo, Jr. shares a simple side dish that's a favorite at his restaurant in New Jersey: roasted broccoli rabe. If you're having a rich main entrée, like a hearty wild boar stew, sometimes a little hint of bitterness is just what you need to cut through the fat.