We probably all have memories of the farmers’ market during the summer months. Tables stacked full of brightly colored fruits and vegetables and bustling isles full of customers. During the winter, the farmers’ market might not be the first place you think to go on a Saturday morning. If you have yet to venture into the winter market, you may be surprised that there is far more fresh produce than you think! Not to mention the booths full of other kitchen staples like honey, meat, and fresh bread.
Root crops such as beets, potatoes, turnips, and carrots are hearty and do well in cold storage many months after the fall harvest. Winter squash can be kept for months and is still delicious when roasted or baked, even in the early spring. Brassicas such as kale and cabbage are also available. Did you know that kale leaves become sweeter after they withstand frosty weather? You can find fresh, sweet greens like lettuce, spinach, pea shoots, and microgreens.
This week’s recipe features sweet roasted beets and fresh apples complemented by salty feta cheese and a tangy honey dijon vinaigrette. The salad is rounded out with the freshest of greens. The recipe can easily be adapted with ingredients available at the market. If pea shoots are not available, use microgreens instead or stick with the baby lettuce. If beets aren’t your thing, pour this dressing over the greens, apple, and feta to make a light side salad.
Roasting beets in foil is an excellent way to cook them while retaining flavor and sweetness. After roasting, the skin should easily slip off. The exact cooking time for the beets varies greatly depending on the size. Medium size beets, about 3 inches in diameter, will typically take about an hour to fully cook. Winter beets at the market are often much larger, about 6 inches, and can take up to 2 full hours to cook. Roasted beets keep well in the fridge, so consider roasting more than you need so you can use the rest throughout the week.
I am a freelance recipe developer and food photographer with a background in Nutrition and Culinary Arts. I focus on sharing seasonal whole-food recipes for the whole family. You can find me and see more of my work on my Instagram @lemon.thyme.kitchen.
This week’s recipe: Roasted Beet and Apple Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette