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Think outside the (side) dish

Think outside the (side) dish

Today we’re turning to winter’s best vegetables.  We’re starting to see the vegetables that are so satisfying – perfect for hearty soups, stick-to-your-ribs stews, and the rich side dishes that we savor.Here’s a quick rundown of some of our pick-of-the-season, cool-weather vegetables, ready to grace your table.

Green vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and chard.

A staple for the winter table, Brussels sprouts are actually a leafy green. Ours come to us from Half Moon Bay, as do our broccoli and cauliflower.While they’re available year-round, they’re especially good right now.

Leafy greens

Sautéed, braised, or in soups, leafy greens add color and to your menu.  And what’s more comforting on a rainy evening than a mess of greens like chard or collards, braised with onion and a bit of bacon or ham?  Our greens come from the Salinas area.


Whether you mash, bake, roast, or use for an au gratin, we have all kinds of potatoes.Of course, Russets with their flaky texture are unparalleled for baking, and some people swear Yukon Gold are the one-and-only for mashing – with slashings of butter, of course.  And you’ll find creamers, red potatoes, and more to meet all your potato needs. And let’s face it: we all have potato needs.

Red Garnet yams

Red Garnet Yams are just as versatile as potatoes, with the added benefit of that beautiful deep orange color (the tipoff to all those good beta-carotene antioxidants!).Of course, they are de rigeur at every traditional winter table. But have you thought beyond that?Cube them, toss them with a little olive oil and salt, and roast them in a hot oven (425 is not too hot) till they’re crispy outside and creamy inside.For a relaxing weekend breakfast, have you thought of making home fries with yams instead of white potatoes?  They cook faster and taste richer.

Winter squashes

Acorn, butternut, and kabocha -- are hitting their peak now.Try a simple and elegant squash soup. Just puree cooked squash with your favorite broth and sautéed onions.Add seasonings – curry for a warming soup, dill for a refreshing one, or sage and thyme for a soup that really captures the feeling of fall.All our winter squashes come from Stockton.


Incredibly refreshing and versatile, fennel offers a lighter contrast to the other vegetables we suggest here.  Sliced in salad as a first course, pair fennel with mandarin segments and thinly sliced radishes, dressed with a light citrus vinaigrette.  Or juice fennel with apple, lemon, cucumber, and your favorite greens for a sweet-tart juice.  And the fronds are not only tasty, they make an impressive garnish.

Our produce experts choose the very best of these to offer you for our seasonal produce boxes – and as always, we source them as locally as possible.  

Looking for some recipe inspiration?  For a wholesome meal, check out our delicious White Beans with Fennel and Sage.  Searching for a scrumptious side?  We've got the low down on some sure-to-please extra crispy potatoes for all your side-dish needs.