The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmer’s Market This Weekend


While I don’t think that the novelty of having gravy as a permanent side dish option could get old, let’s do try and move on from heavy holiday dishes at least for a moment before the Christmas-themed gluttony really gets going. Fortunately, there’s an abundance of juicy green things to put some virtue back onto your plate.

–Baby Spinach and Arugula Hoophouse-grown greens are starting to arrive! Though it’s too cold to grow these little babies outside at the moment, they thrive in passively-heated greenhouses, but they do tend to be a little more fragile than their counterparts grown outside, so handle them gently and enjoy them soon.

–Rutabaga You might mistake this purple-gold root vegetable for a turnip, and you wouldn’t be totally wrong. Rutabaga is actually a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. They’re slightly sweeter and less bitter and than purple topped turnips, and they can be used just as you might a potato with a less starchy, but golden, creamy and satisfying flavor.

–White Sweet Potatoes Likely overshadowed for the more showy garnet yams and orange sweet potato varieties on your Thanksgiving table, be sure to pick up white sweet potatoes if you can find them. Some varieties have pale, greenish white skin, while others have a pink or even purple hue to them. Though they might look like more like white potatoes when peeled, they have unmistakeable sweet potato flavor without being quite as cloying as some orange varieties.

 –Komatsuna A variety of Japanese mustard spinach, komatsuna looks like what bok choi might look like if you stretched it out, elongating the bulb into juicy stems. It has a juicy,  faintly spicy flavor and it cooks up similarly to swiss chard, but the plants are hardier and more tolerant to cool temperatures.  You can certainly give it the garlic, chili, lemon treatment than so many hardy greens love, or it makes a great, crunchy addition to a stir fry.

–Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts The mild weather we’ve been enjoying has meant that these cool weather favorites are hanging on, but pick them up soon.  A hard freeze or two is all it’ll take to remove them from rotation.  If you buy brussels sprouts on the stalk,  be advised that the big, dark leaves growing from the top or in between the sprouts are also edible. They’ve got the robust texture of collard greens but a milder, sweeter flavor.