Mysterious winter vegetables

Last week everything but meat and mushrooms seemed to disappear from the farmers market. It's been too cold for the high tunnel greens, and even the apples and pears are dwindling.

But there are two vegetables that endure: kohlrabi and celeriac. This winter we tried both. Let's just say that cerleriac had some unfortunate intestinal consequences and we probably won't go back. Kohlrabi, on the other hand was a wonderful surprise.


Though it looks like a root from an alien planet, kohlrabi is really an enlarged stem that tastes like a cross between cabbage and broccoli. Thin skinned, easy to slice, the flavor is nice and subtle and the texture is crisp and fresh. Such a surprise this time of year. 

We tried it boiled with butter and parmesan cheese but it seemed too mushy and a waste of such a light and airy food. Better to chop it into matchsticks for munching or slice thinly for salad. 


Brussels Sprouts & Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts

It's a tough time of year for fresh vegetables at the farmers market. I saw this in the Sunday paper right before I left for the Schenectady Greenmarket. Perfect timing. I was able to pick up brussels sprouts from Barbers Farms and Wine Crisp apples from Maynard Farms.

brussels sprouts & apple.jpg

This yummy salad was super-easy to make. The taste of bitter sprouts with the sweet, crisp apple was perfect. I don't know that I've ever caramelized nuts before but these tasted like the ones you buy on the street in NYC in those little paper cones. I'm glad I made extra! One word of caution: The recipe specifies cooking the brussels sprouts for 8 minutes. I figured this would work as a do-ahead while I finished cooking everything else. When I sampled the salad at 7 minutes it was PERFECT. Really incredibly good. After sitting for half an hour or so and being reheated, the brussels sprouts got more bitter and the salad, though tasty was not amazing. Next time I'll cook it right before I'm ready to serve it.

Salad ingredients: oil, brussels sprouts, tart apple, salt, and rosemary. Topping: chopped walnuts, butter & sugar. For the full recipe, go to