January Market Watch: Eat Your Greens
At Sun Basket, our commitment to seasonal cooking requires us to adapt to the unpredictability of the marketplace. That means that sometimes you’ll find fresh produce in your box that’s different than what’s shown in the photograph of the recipe. On this page, we’ll be exploring those potential substitutions and sharing some more information about the seasonal vegetables in your box each week.
During the winter months, leafy greens and chicory lettuces taste their best because the cold weather causes carbohydrates in the vegetables to convert to sugar, making their sometimes bitter flavor a bit sweeter. But chilly nighttime temperatures also mean that fields are cold and wet by the morning when the frost has melted. With fewer hours of daylight and wet fields that make it difficult to get farming machinery running, there’s less time to harvest, and supplies are often limited. Chicories, in particular, are susceptible to frost damage which is why you might find radicchio in your box one week and escarole the next.
Sweet with a slightly bitter edge, these greens are essentially chewable multivitamins, only they taste good. Chicories actually contain small amounts of nearly every essential vitamin, including A, C, E, and K. They also contain high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, and calcium. This combination of vitamins and minerals make these greens ideal for heart health, protecting bones from osteoporosis, and helping to prevent inflammatory diseases.
Fun Fact: High winter winds can cause the lettuce to twist in the breeze as it grows creating a slightly lopsided but perfectly edible head of greens.
Get your greens this week with Chicken Marbella with Dates and Chicories, Pan-Seared Steak with Ajvar Red Pepper Relish and Watercress, or Sole in Parchment with Warm Date and Apricot Salad over spinach.
Illustration by @boccaccinimeadows