Seasoned Shopper – December 2021

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Winter Wonderland of Holiday Favorites

    Here we go! Orinda’s Farmers’ Market moves into the winter season with bags full of fresh produce and inspiring ideas. The holidays bring out family favorites and plenty of comfort foods.
    Favorites in my house include vegetables, white bean and cabbage soup, cabbage rolls and red cabbage and apple salad. Looks like cabbage must be in season!
    The cabbage family is one of the largest and most economical groups of vegetables. All thrive in cool weather, and California takes pride in being one of its major producers. The cabbage or cole family includes broccoli, brussel sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, kale, collards and kohlrabi. All are nutritionally rich in fiber and Vitamin C, contain no fat or cholesterol and are low in sodium and 
calories.
    Green and red head cabbage are basically the same, except for color and price (green generally costs less than red). Large, loose wrapper leaves around each head are removed before shipping, but Farmers’ Markets may display just-harvested heads with these very impressive looking outer leaves. Choose firm heads that are heavy for their size. Any outer leaves should be well colored with no signs of wilting or decay.
    The crinkled pale to dark green leaves of Savoy cabbage grow in a loose, full head and are more tender and milder tasting than other head cabbage. The pink, purple or white hearts of salad savoy or ornamental kale, make beautiful garnishes but are just as versatile in salads.
    I like to step over to the Napa cabbage display to choose a leafy head made up of elongated, pale green leaves offering a mellow taste, tender leaves and a slight peppery undertone. Large or baby bok choy leaves resemble thick, white-stemmed Swiss chard and work ideally for stir frying or steaming.
    Here’s the Red Cabbage and Apple Salad recipe – easy and delicious for family or guests:
    1 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
    3 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into ½ chunks
    ½ cup dried cranberries
    3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon honey mustard
    3 tablespoon olive oil

    Toss cabbage, apples and cranberries together in a large bowl. Whisk vinegar and mustard together. Drizzle olive oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss. Enjoy! Serves 6.
    The Orinda Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Orinda Way in Orinda Village. The market is closed Christmas Day, Saturday, Dec. 25. More information is available at www.cccfm.org, Facebook.com/OrindaFarmersMarket and Instagram at OrindaFarmersMarket, or call the market hotline at 925.431.8361.

Barbara Kobsar can be reached at Barbara@cotkitchen.com.

(Barbara Kobsar, Photographer)
Beautiful flowering kale in the garden loves rain and cool weather.

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