As the farm to table movement increasingly grows, so has the emphasis on eating only what Mother Nature says so at that specific season. Farm to table dining refers to the new eating and restaurant movement based on the ideals that our food should come straight from the ground to our mouths, with as little outside alteration as possible. Most farm to table restaurants have their own local gardens in which they harvest their produce for the dishes to come to their restaurant that night, altering the menu as the seasons change.
The seasons ultimately dictate what is being cooked in the farm to table movement, but grocery stores for the common shopper have made all produce easily available at any point in the year, blurring the line between what grows best and what you should wait to eat for later on in the year. Fresh produce means tastier meals and with the knowledge of knowing what harvests best per season, one can shop for better quality produce which will enhance any dish.
In the cold months of Winter fruits like pears, pomegranates, kiwi, dates, and most citrus fruits are at the peak of their season and will be at their best quality. As far as vegetables go, kale, leeks, brussel sprouts, potatoes, carrots, as well as all the winter squash vegetables are great at this time in the year. Play around with combinations of different Winter fruits and vegetables to create your own seasonal dish!
Seasonal Winter Kale Salad
Servings: about 4
Time: 15-30 minutes
– 4 cups of washed kale
– 2 ripe pears
– 1 large pomegranate (or 2 small)
– ¼ cup of chopped pistachios
– ¼ cup of crumbled goat cheese
– ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
– 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
– 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
– 2 teaspoons of honey
– ½ teaspoon of salt
– ½ teaspoon of pepper
Prior to preparing the salad, cut the pomegranate in half and soak in a large bowl of water for at least an hour. This will make it easier to peel and pick out the pomegranate seeds from the inside flesh. Wash and rinse the kale under cold water and pat dry. Cut and remove the stems from each kale leaf and chop into bite size pieces. Deseed the
pomegranate and set aside. Assemble the salad with the kale first at the bottom, the pear slices following, and then top by sprinkling the pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and goat cheese crumbles.
For the dressing combine all ingredients in a mason jar, close the lid tight and shake the jar until all liquids are incorporated and creamy. Top the salad with the dressing and enjoy!
Written by: Grace Esler
Freshman seeking a BS in Dietetics/Nutrition, Fitness, and Health