Winter produce. I love it almost as much as I love the summer.
Ok, being realistic here, I love all produce. No matter what it is. And thankfully my Fireman has the same adoration for fruit and vegetables that I do. 75% of our weekly grocery budget goes towards the purchase of that kind of stuff, and between he and I, it is gone before the week’s end. For the most part I stick to the same favorites: apples, bananas, squash, tomatoes, etc- but with the changing seasons, each offer their own unique fruits and vegetables at their peak of flavor. Often times I’ll see whats in season, whats on sale, and add those into my shopping cart. Another plus to shopping in season? In season produce = cheap, cheap, cheap.
So, how do we know whats in season? Simply take a look around your grocery’s produce section. Usually whats in season is featured in marked bins or in the main front/middle sections and is typically lower in price.
For example: apples this time of year run about $1.50/lb or cheaper. Honeydew melon..? About 4 bucks each. Yowza.
My friends at Cooking Light have put together an easy go-to-guide for choosing seasonal produce. I used their Winter Produce Guide when I was choosing ingredients for this risotto recipe. Kale, leeks, and fresh lemons are all on their list, and easy to find ingredients this time of year. I was even able to find kale in my local grocery- where as before I would have to shop elsewhere at a specialty grocery store. Sweet! One stop shopping for this momma- a definite plus when my Fireman is home alone with the little bits. After about an hour I start getting the ‘How’s it coming along..‘ text messages, hurrying me through the remainder of my trip.
As I was bagging up my kale greens, I noticed a bundle of fresh Brussels Sprouts. Hello beautiful. If you know me- you know my love affair with the sprouts. I even have an entire pinterest board dedicated the my love. These would be a perfect addition! So, in my buggy they went.
I didn’t tell my Fireman until he was elbow deep in vegetable risotto that there were Brussels Sprouts among other things in this dish- he didn’t seem to care one bit. Although he isn’t a fan, I’m slowly starting to convert him. I started small by hiding them with this recipe, and then I got brave and ready for rejection when I served them as a side dish over the weekend. Cooking Light’s Grainy Mustard Brussels Sprouts were a hit in the CB house and will be on regular rotation, thats for sure! I tell you, these are yummy and will make a believer out of anyone- even my shout-it-from-the-rooftops Brussels Sprouts hater that
is was my Fireman.
Not so brave to try them yourself? Give this recipe a go. The caramelization and nutty flavor that shines through as they are cooked down is wonderful. A great addition to the other winter vegetables featured in this green veggie risotto!