Long Reads

11 Items to Pick Up at the Market Now

January  4, 2014

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more. 

Today: There's more than just greens at your local farmers market right now. (But you should pick up some of those too.) Here's what you should be putting into your basket.

1. Citrus Fruits
A bright spot among winter's root vegetables, there's a fantastically wide array of citrus, from big (pomelos and bergamot) to little (kumquats and finger limes). Plus, now you can impress your friends with your knowledge of the origin of a navel orange's “navel.” 

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Cook: Citrus Thyme Macaroons and Warm Gooey Citrus Pudding

11 Items to Pick Up at the Market in January, from Food52 

2. Celeriac 
All of the flavor (and more) of celery without the stringy wateriness. And don’t toss the leafy stalks -- they’re perfect for your next batch of stock.

Cook: Michel Guérard's Celeriac Purée and Celeriac and Potato Latkes with Apricot Ginger Yogurt Sauce 

11 Items to Pick Up at the Market Now, from Food52 

3. Parsnips 
Parsnips can handle your indifference -- they’ve got thick skin. No, really: Their skin grows thick and tough because they stay in the ground for so long -- two weeks or so after the first frost -- so you’ll want to peel parsnips before cooking them. 

Cook: Spiced Parsnip Cake and Lentil Shepard's Pie and Parsnip and Potato Mash   

11 Items to Pick Up at the Market Now, from Food52

4. & 5. Turnips and Rutabagas 
They’re not only the workhorses of winter vegetables, they also have some of the best nicknames, like neeps, snadgers, and Swedes. 

Cook: Creamy Turnip Soup with Wilted Radish Greens and Bacon and Turnip Risotto  

11 Items to Pick Up at the Market Now, from Food52 

6. Brussels Sprouts 
After picking, their outward appearance won’t change much -- but Brussels sprouts start to loose sweetness once they’re harvested, so eat them quickly. 

Cook: “Pot-Stuck” Brussels Sprouts and Brussels Sprout and Chorizo Beer Hash  

11 Items to Pick Up at the Market Now, from Food52

7. Cabbage 
Like Brussels sprouts, cabbage can get a bad rap. But not only is cabbage versatile (slaws, and braises, and sauerkraut, oh my!), the entire head of cabbage is edible! Put the tough outer leaves to work lining a steamer basket when making a batch of dumplings, and save the core and ribs for a stir-fry.

Cook: Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing and Wintery Braised Red Cabbage

11 Items to Pick up at the Market Now, from Food52

8. Persimmons 
The easiest way to tell if a persimmon is ready to eat? Tug gently on its stem -- when it pops off, it's ripe.

Cook: Instant Persimmon Sorbet and Maple Persimmon Upside-Down Cake with Maple Cream 

11 Items to Pick Up at the Market Now, from Food52

9. & 10. Sweet Potatoes and Yams 
Their similarity is limited to their looks. Yams are more closely related to lilies than they are to potatoes, and sweet potatoes aren’t really potatoes at all. Despite the confusion, they’re both just as versatile as a classic spud.

Cook: Sweet Potato and Cilantro Quesadilla with Fried Egg & Cumin Oil and Yam and Peanut Stew with Kale  

11 Items to Pick up at the Market in January, from Food52 

11. Dark Leafy Greens 
Yes. You know that that means. We just can’t quit you, kale. (When you love something this much you make it your logo color.)

Cook: Lacinato Kale and Mint Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing and Raw Kale Salad with Lentils and Sweet Apricot Vinaigrette 

11 Items to Pick Up at the Market in January, from Food52

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.

1 Comment

Carol P. January 26, 2014
Hello Lindsay-Jean, I'd like to share a few more posts, ones that use some of your recommendations her. Will link back to your post in all of them. Here are mine:
1) uses brussel sprouts, parsnips, and sweet potatoes:
Roasted Vegetables Over Couscous http://www.ahhthesimplelife.com/simple-supper-roasted-vegetables/
2) uses cabbage:
Cabbage-Potato-Carrot Soup