SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Monday, February 22, 2010

Seasonal Eats | Family Economics

By Lori

Despite being the shortest month of the year, February offers some great produce for making hearty dishes. Two things I like about seasonal foods are 1) It’s cheaper to buy food in season and 2) It gets your creative juices flowing with new recipe ideas.

I think for many of us, we find ourselves in an eating routine, making the same meals over and over again. I’ve learned over the years that picking a new ingredient that is in season has opened my eyes, and mouth, to new tasty pleasures.

Some foods currently in season for this month are:
• Forced rhubarb
• Winter cauliflower
• Leeks
• Turnips
• Spinach
• Swede
• Celeriac
• Chard
• Carrots
• Mushrooms
• Apples (still going strong from farmers' store supplies)
• Pears (still going strong from farmers' store supplies)

Don’t let turnips or chards scare you. Here’s a recipe to help you get started using one of those seasonal ingredients, leeks.

Leek and Potato Gratin
Ingredients
• 2 lb 2oz potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
• 3 leeks (about 1½lb), halved lengthways, then thinly sliced crossways
• Nutmeg, grated
• 9 fl oz hot vegetable stock
• 1 carton whipping cream (300ml)
• 1 oz butter, diced

Directions
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Butter a large baking dish, about a 4-pint capacity. Arrange the potato and leek slices in alternate layers in the dish, seasoning each layer with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg, and finishing with a potato layer on the top. Combine the stock and cream in a jug and slowly pour it over the potatoes and leeks, then dot with butter.

Cook in the oven for 1½ hours until the potatoes are tender, covering the dish with foil when the potatoes are tinged golden to prevent them from over browning. 

Preparation time: 30 minutes -Cooking time: 90 minutes -Serves: 6 people

1 Comment so far

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On Tuesday, February 23, 2010, Martin Davis, Chicago wrote

My family has been trying to eat locally grown seasonal vegetables but it is hard to know what is in season. This post is really helpful, thanks!

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