Winter Produce Guide
Winter has its own colorful selection of dark leafy greens and vivid fruits to add brightness and flavor to the colder months. Here's our guide to this season's lesser-known fruits and vegetables.
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1. Broccoli Rabe or Rapini
SELECT: Look for bright green leaves, firm stalks and relatively few buds or open flowers. Avoid bunches with yellowed leaves or dry stalks.
STORE: Remove the wire twist or rubber band that secures the bundle, roll up in dry paper towel and store in a loosely sealed plastic bag in refrigerator crisper drawer for up to five days.
EAT: Cook as you would broccoli: steamed, sauteed, stir-fried or braised. To serve cold in salads, blanch first to lessen the naturally bitter flavor.
2. Citrus (Oranges, Tangelos, Grapefruit)
SELECT: Heavy fruits with shiny, smooth skin and no signs of bruising. Tenderness when squeezed indicates juiciness.
STORE: In refrigerator crisper drawer for up to two weeks. Wash skins before cutting or zesting.
EAT: Peel and eat out of hand, or cut into segments and add to salads and stir-frys. Use fresh-squeezed juice in marinades or sauces.
TRY: Scallops with Wilted Spinach, Grapefruit & Mint.
3. Lucinato Kale (Tuscan Kale)
SELECT: Sturdy and firm bunches with deep-colored leaves and hardy, fresh-looking stems.
STORE: Remove wire twist or rubber band that secures the bundle, roll up in dry paper towel and store in a loosely sealed plastic bag in refrigerator crisper drawer for up to five days. Wash only before serving to minimize spoilage.
EAT: Chop and use as a delicious alternative to spinach in soups, stews, sautes, curries and frittatas. Pairs well with garlic, bell peppers, chile peppers, onions and tomatoes.
TRY: Asian Kale & Tofu Salad.
SELECT: Large fruit that feels heavy for its size with smooth, shiny, blemish-free skin. Some stores sell fresh pomegranate arils already extracted from the fruit.
STORE: In a cool, dark place for up to one month. To refrigerate, extract arils and store them in a sealed container for up to one week.
EAT: Slice top from fruit to expose arils, t hen score the skin by slicing it from top to bottom in quarters, exposing the white flesh. Hold over top of or submerge in a bowl of cool water and use your fingers to pry sections apart; scoop out arils and drop into bowl; drain. Eat arils as salad toppings or juice them for concentrated pomegranate juice.
TRY: Hearty Chicken Salad with Pomegranate.
5. Sweet Potatoes
SELECT: Firm, heavy potatoes with smooth, bruise-free skin.
STORE: Loosely sealed in a paper bag in a cool, dark place for up to two weeks.
EAT: Boiled and mashed to accompany poultry or pork, cubed and sauteed with onions, garlic, fresh ginger and herbs, or sliced into wedges for carb-friendly fries.
TRY: Hawaiian Sweet Potato Skins.