Winter evokes stews and soups; or as my grandmother would say: stick-to-your-bones type of dishes. In general, I find it so interesting that I crave different culinary fare each season – be it Shepard’s Pie in deep winter or tomato salad in late summer – it’s like my body knows the weather before I step foot outside.
So, I decided to ask my fellow Farm Aiders what recipes they’re drawn to come January, when our ground is deeply frozen and skies acutely gloomy (at least in the Midwest). Below, find recipes from three Farm Aid staff members, a couple of stews and, gasp, a salad!
This is the first in a series of staff 2023 favorites. What do you crave in winter? Let us know what you make during the winter months, by sending a recipe and brief explanation of why you picked this dish to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Kozower, Farm Aid’s Operations Manager (Massachusetts)
Winter is synonymous with soups and stews for me too. One of my favorite winter soups is Hot and Sour Borscht, which might sound strange but if you love kimchi and beets, I highly recommend giving it a try. I make my own kimchi and have a love for borscht in my veins (with my Eastern European heritage) so this simple and creative soup hits all the right comfort notes for me. The recipe comes from a Chinese family food business in Boston called Mei Mei and can be found in their Double Awesome Chinese Food cookbook, which has lots of great recipes that feature ingredients from local farms and fisheries.
My favorite winter stew is Melissa Clark’s Mushroom Bourguignon, which makes use of some winter storage vegetables and mushrooms from the winter farmers’ market nearby. I use regular onions (chopped) instead of pearl onions and whatever mushrooms are available from my local growers. I’ve served it on top of roasted potatoes and brown rice as well as the suggested polenta and mashed potatoes. It’s rich and delicious. And it makes for a special meal with guests alongside another perennial favorite – Smitten Kitchen’s Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette (which calls for a little sage that I can pluck from my little urban garden throughout most of the winter).
Tony Glover, one of Farm Aid’s Hotline Operators (Alabama)
I usually make black eye peas for New Years for good luck. But it’s delicious anytime! For the sausages, I prefer Conecuh Sausage from Alabama.
Tony’s Turnip or Collard Green Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 clove garlic chopped fine
- 2 cups cooked black eye peas
- 3 sausages (size of Wiener or Franks about one pound)
- 3 cups turnip or collard greens cut small
- 8 cups water mixed with concentrated chicken or vegetable Stock
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- Sauté onions, garlic and sausage.
- Add all ingredients into a crockpot and cook for about 4 hours on high or 6-7 on low.
Matt Glidden, Farm Aid’s Online Marketing Director (Oregon)
I love serving a salad at holiday get-togethers because I see people’s eyebrows raise when they hear that it’s got raw kale and Brussels sprouts in it. But without fail, everyone who’s tried it has been won over. It’s a flexible recipe, allowing you to switch in different nuts or types of olives or cheese (or sub in a little super-thin-sliced celery if you can’t find Brussels sprouts). It’s also hardy enough to last as leftovers in the fridge for a day or two, although if you’re planning for that, you may want to add the nuts or cheese separately (I don’t bother and it’s still delicious.)
Lacinato Kale, Brussels Sprouts, and Pecorino Salad
Adapted from 101 Coookbooks
- 1 minced shallot
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons tahini
- honey and salt to taste
- 1 bunch of lacinato kale, sliced very thin
- 12 Brussels sprouts, sliced very thin or shredded
- 3 scallions, finely sliced
- 1 cup toasted pecans, walnuts, or pistachios, sliced
- 20 large green olives, pitted and sliced
- 2/3 cup shredded pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Make the dressing by combining the shallot and the lemon juice in a small bowl while preparing the other ingredients. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to mellow, before whisking in the olive oil, tahini, honey and salt.
Toss the kale, sprouts, and green onions with the dressing. Mix well with your hands and let rest before adding more salt if needed.
Add the pecans, olives, and pecorino, and gently toss once more before serving.