In the wintertime, few things are better than a warm, comforting meal at the end of the day. With chilly, frigid weather frequently knocking at our door, we find ourselves opting to spend more time indoors to keep the cold at bay. Gone are the days of outdoor grilling and picnicking…at least until the arrival of spring and summer in the following months. No, these days, we find ourselves craving hearty dishes like soups and stews, roasted meats and vegetables and hot drinks. And just because it’s winter doesn’t mean we are unable to eat deliciously. In fact, this season is one of the best times to enjoy certain foods and styles of cooking, which is what we’ll be covering today in our winter recipe roundup.
Winter vegetables such as beets, parsnips and carrots shine best during this time of year and are marvelous when roasted. All you need is olive oil, salt and pepper; their natural sugars will caramelize, bringing out their delicious flavors on their own. Potatoes can be enjoyed year-round but roasting and serving them as a side dish is a comfort in itself. Another gem that stands out in the winter is citrus. Meyer Lemons, Cara Cara Oranges and Cocktail Grapefruits are just a few of the unique varieties you can try this time of the year. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite cold weather recipes you can feast on by the fireplace while the season lasts.
Root vegetables get the star treatment during the colder months. While beets can be enjoyed all year round, they’re particularly wonderful during the wintertime and especially in a salad. The art to making the perfect salad is keeping things light, simple and balanced. Juicy segments of sweet, acidic oranges add brightness and zing to our peeled and ready-to-eat Steamed Beets, which are topped with delicious toasted almonds for added crunch. A healthy homemade lemon vinaigrette finishes off this healthy salad.
How about bringing some of that world-famous New Orleans flavor to the kitchen with homemade jambalaya? Nothing beats a mean jambalaya during Mardi Gras but this smokey combination of meat, vegetables and rice is one of our top winter picks for comfort food. The ingredients that goes into this dish are vast and bountiful, from shrimp and sausages to Roma Tomatoes to basmati rice. However, the process is simple and straightforward and results in one bold and flavorful recipe.
When it comes to a winter soup, low and slow is how we like it. What better time to break out the slow cooker than in cold, brisk weather? The many recipes you can make with such a handy kitchen tool are endless and one of our favorites is this Acorn Squash and Garbanzo Bean Soup. Our Peeled-and-Steamed Garbanzo Beans add plenty of protein and nutrients while our tender acorn squash and San Marzano Tomatoes add amazing flavor. Trust us, after 2 hours of simmering away, the results are well worth it!
Don’t be intimidated by its fancy name. Our Crab and Shrimp Étouffée is an easy twist on this Creole classic. Although this dish is traditionally made with a light roux, we take onions, organic celery and organic bell peppers, along with fresh crab and shrimp and simmer it in creamy mushroom soup with Pasilla Chiles. Once the wonderful Cajun flavors have melded together, you won’t even be able to tell the difference between the étouffée found here versus down in the French Quarter.
When it comes to food, few dishes capture the beauty and simplicity of winter time more than simple roasted root vegetables. Roasting root vegetables in the oven helps caramelize their natural sugars and bring forward their sweet, smokey flavors. These sweet and spicy baby carrots get an extra kick of heat with mildly hot diced Jalapeno chiles. If baby carrots are unavailable, you can also cut regular sized carrots into rounds. For other chile-based recipes, check out The Great Pepper Cookbook.
If you’re looking for a go-to side dish to serve alongside a winter meal, look no further than our Roasted Dutch Yellow® Potatoes. Our baby-sized DYPs® are some of the best potatoes for roasting because of their sumptuous, buttery flavor and thin edible skins. To finish off this recipe, we sauté our leeks in olive oil and butter until they’re well caramelized and toss them onto the potatoes. The result is a simple yet satisfying side that just might take the spotlight at dinnertime.
One of the most delicious ways to cook eggplants is through the braising method. Braising eggplants with lemon juice and then finishing them off in the oven to caramelize is sure to give them maximum flavor. If Brandy Wine tomatoes are unavailable, Heirloom Tomatoes are a worthy alternative. This dish can be served at either hot or room temperature on its own or with warm, rustic bread.
With winter being prime time for citrus season, there are always new varieties to try. Tangerines are best enjoyed this time of the year and can be featured in a wide range of recipes. In this fabulous quick bread recipe, the sweet, zest of clementine tangerines complement the luscious, tart flavor of South African Baby Pineapples. Enjoy a slice or two for breakfast, dessert or afternoon tea.
What are your favorite things to cook in the winter? What are some of your go-to wintertime recipes?