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Farmers Market Report: Culinary Inspiration Edition

by Borderstan.com February 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

"Borderstan""Beets"

Colorful Beets (Stephanie Willis)

From Stephanie Willis. Email her at [email protected], follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl.

February is always a hard time for me in the kitchen. As a person who prefers to eat seasonally, I find it hard to come up with fresh and interesting ways to make the staples of Winter produce. And as much as I love to braise a lovely cut of meat for a meal, I’d like a little bit of variety. Wouldn’t you?

With that in mind, I decided to scour the internet for unique takes on the produce currently at the farmers markets. I found some delicious and different ways to make Winter produce more exciting. Or at least a little more adventurous.

  •  The lovely mushrooms from the Mushroom Stand at Dupont Circle Farmers Market are perfect for this mushroom bread pudding.  Mix and match your favorite mushrooms for a hearty take on a classic bread pudding. You can serve it as a side dish or up the portion size for a full meal (perhaps with a side salad).
  • This beet and bean “burger” is one of my absolute favorite vegetarian recipes. Fresh beets are combined with brown rice, black beans and a host of spices for a burger even the strictest carnivore will love. It can get a little messy when you’re making the patties, but it’s worth the clean up.
  • One of my favorite food bloggers decided to give butternut squash a Moroccan twist with this Moroccan butternut squash and chickpea tagine. If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, cut back a bit on the harissa, a North African hot chili sauce.
  • Speaking of harissa, this harissa spaghettini dish is a fantastic platform for kale to shine. When kale is in season, I make it often. As noted above, for the non-heat seekers, reduce the amount of harissa or you’ll be cursing my name later.
  • But who needs pasta when you have sweet potatoes? This cannelloni recipe swaps out the carbs for thin slices of sweet potato. Grab some fresh sweet potatoes from Next Step Produce on Sunday and get out your handy mandoline!
  • I first had carrot marmalade at a bed and breakfast in Virginia and have been obsessed with it ever since.  Fresh carrots shine in this jam, bringing out the vegetable’s natural sweetness.  This recipe makes a good amount of marmalade, but trust me, it won’t last long.
  • I had to laugh when I saw the name for this dish: squashducken! A vegetarian hat tip to the turducken, it’s a cornucopia of Winter squash stuffed in…well, a winter squash.  Even though the recipe says the maple syrup is “optional”, I highly encourage you to use it.

Hopefully these recipes will inspire you to get out of your winter rut and back into the kitchen!

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