For the best tasting fruit and vegetables, buy ones that are in season. This can vary depending on your region, but in general, the list is as follows:
Jerusalem artichoke (aka Sunchoke)
Here are some ideas to utilize those fabulous fresh finds!
I love making quick and easy apple tarts. This is the recipe by The Pioneer Woman: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/quick-easy-and-yummy-apple-tart/
My grandma grows sunchokes in the backyard of her Brooklyn home, and she just recently harvested them. My go to recipe is for roasted sunchokes. First, I preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Using 1 1/2 pounds of sunchokes, I scrub and wash them thoroughly and cut them into half-inch pieces. Then, I toss them with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Finally, I scatter them on a baking sheet and bake them for 30 minutes, or until they are soft and tender. These veggies taste a lot like french fries, so I like eating them with ketchup.
Adding them to frittatas makes for a quick and satisfying breakfast!
My lemon curd tart was (thankfully) a great success at my family’s new year party!
I used Williams Sonoma’s recipe to create the tart’s crust: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/basic-tart-dough.html with baking instructions here (also from Williams Sonoma):
Fold the dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9 1/2-inch tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough by gently running a rolling pin across the top of the pan. Press the dough into the sides to extend it slightly above the rim to offset any shrinkage during baking. Refrigerate or freeze the tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.
Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw short-grain rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then lift an edge of the foil. If the dough looks wet, continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes, until the dough is pale gold, for a total baking time of 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Continue to bake until the shell is golden, 7 to 10 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
This is my recipe for the lemon curd:
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
3 1/2 lemons, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the lemon curd:
Remove the zest of the lemons with a zester. Squeeze the lemons to make 1/2 cup of juice. Put the zest and sugar in a mini food processor with a steel blade. Process until zest is finely minced. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a bowl and a hand held mixer, cream the butter and sugar and zest mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into a two quart saucepan, and cook under low heat, stirring occasionally until it thickens and reaches just below a simmer. It should take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and fill tart shell with the lemon curd.
Cooking spaghetti squash is a great way to eat healthy “pasta”. This is how to make the squash: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-spaghetti-squash-in-the-oven-178036
I usually sautee 2 cloves of garlic, spinach, and cherry tomatoes in olive oil and mix it with the spaghetti squash.
I hope you enjoy making these winter recipes at home!
What is your favorite January produce?