Eating locally and in-season has been something that fascinated me and I have aligned our family with for a long time. It just makes sense to eat whatever has been freshly harvested as often as one can. It will be nice and nutrient-dense. Food harvested in this season contain the nourishment our bodies need for this specific time of year. Of course, each section of the world experiences different climates at different times. It seems that wherever one lives, your body will thrive most if you feed it what has been grown closest to you and at harvest time. This is easy for a born-and-raised California girl to say. We always have produce in season and so many varieties of meat animals thrive here. We do eat preserved foods, too. I try to ferment as much as I can, which actually increases the nutrition of items like cabbage (turned into sauerkraut). We freeze berries, pesto, and peppers, too. This subject really is a post in and of itself. What I really want to share with you are the in-season dishes we have enjoyed this month. If you are interested in eating locally and seasonal, the easiest way to do that is by planting a garden of your own, or benefit from what your local CSA has to offer (find one near you here).
First, here is a list of produce that is currently in-season in our neck of the woods:
- Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, mustard greens, collard greens...)
- Other roots (beets, radishes, turnips, rutabaga...)
One of our favorite dinners this month (especially on a stormy night) has been a good, slow-roasted chicken (pastured and organic) with cauliflower mash. I thawed and drizzled some of last summer's pesto over the whole thing which really made this meal pop.
The fact that I actually look forward to cauliflower is astounding. It was one of the only veggies I never learned to enjoy until just last year. This grain-free pizza is another cauliflower recipe I swoon over. Can you tell I'm using up the pesto before the time comes to make it again? We topped this pizza crust with pesto and kalamata olives. It was divine.
Another current obsession is roasted broccoli. Simply rinse the broccoli (pictured below is Broccoli di Cicco), arrange it in a dish, drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil and the juice of one lemon over it, and sprinkle Celtic sea salt and freshly-ground pepper over it all. It is baked for about 14 minutes in a 400º oven and it's truly amazing.
I have enjoyed making a large batch of some sort of veggie hash and then warm a bit of it up for lunch on the weekdays. The picture below has roasted cubes of potatoes and butternut squash, sausage, broccoli, and mushrooms with some cheese melted on top. Most of the time a handful of sauerkraut is tossed on as well. I use this winter veggie melt recipe as a reference. As you can see, I took a quick lunch break with my little seedlings that are currently green-housing it on the kitchen table...
Mandarin oranges are the snack of choice around here in March. The peel is easy enough for my four-year-old to remove and it's just plain fun to pop the little sections of juiciness into your mouth.
We have made many batches of orange juice...
...and used some of the rind to brew an amazingly easy and effective homemade all-purpose/glass cleaner.
There was a day, the ninth out of a ten-day tour Jeremy was on, where I was just plain tired. We all missed daddy. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon. I hung my apron up. We made a trip to Trader Joe's, picked up a few organic pizzas, sliced up some more oranges, and had ourselves a pizza picnic. It was just what the doctor ordered.
It's amazing to think that next month, we will most likely be enjoying the year's first stone fruit: apriums!
March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.