From the berries of summer to the squash of fall to the brussels sprouts of winter, a new season means a fresh batch of produce to mix into your recipe rotation. We’re breaking down how to cook, eat and enjoy some of our favorite unique winter foods.
How to prepare: To select your squash, choose one that is firm, heavy for its size and yellow with green striations on its rind. Part of the unique charm of delicata squash is the colorful and flavorful edible skin, so be sure to wash your squash! Cut off the ends, then cut it down the center lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and cut into thin slices (they will look like half moons). Toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast at 425℉ for 20 minutes. Flip each slice and roast for another 15 minutes until golden brown – enjoy!
What to cook: Roasted squash makes a warm, hearty side dish on its own, or can be transformed into the main course atop a fall grain bowl with complementary flavors like kale, couscous, pomegranate, red onion and feta.
How to prepare: Sweet persimmons are typically tomato-shaped and taste best when they’re firm and crisp. A ripe persimmon will be orange or deep red-orange. The peel is edible, so start by washing the fruit. Cut off the leaves and slice into thin wedges as you would a tomato. Raw persimmons will have a sweet, honeyed flavor – try adding lemon juice or sugar to further enhance the taste.
What to cook: Persimmons pair well with salads that include flavors such as hazelnuts, fennel, parmesan and pomegranates. Similar to other seasonal fruits, persimmons make delicious jams and sorbets, and can be baked into a cake or added on top of yogurt for a sweet finish.
How to prepare: When buying brussels sprouts, look for tightly closed, green leaves – any signs of yellowing means they’re past their prime. Cut off the ends and rinse with cold water to clean. While brussels sprouts have become a trendy winter food favorite, we’re always looking for the perfect, simple recipe to make at home. Tossing with plenty of olive oil and spreading evening on a baking sheet ensures they’ll brown rather than steam. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast at 450℉, tossing every 10 minutes or so, for 25 to 30 minutes. While they caramelize on their own, tossing with honey or brown sugar can help achieve that signature salty and sweet balance restaurant brussels sprouts often provide.
What to cook: Mixing freshly roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, garlic and parmesan makes for an indulgent and delicious side dish. Brussels sprouts combined with butternut squash, pecans and cranberries can make for a fresh take.
Have a fruit or veggie you’ve always wanted to know what to do with? Let us know in the comments below what you think we should decode next!